Once above the Atacama, Rain lost his grip
and fell from a dizzying height of cloud.
That was unforgiving ground –
he cracked its teeth; it shivered his bones
chips of him fell topaz deep
clattered down as far as opals and corundum.
So it is surprising to hear a hollow
subterranean sputter when one begins to fill
an ordinary plastic bucket
with an ordinary hose
to see the limpid tumbling gems
to be drawn and dragoned by them
to see Rain’s bones unbarrowed,
mended, fleshed with light
[you can almost see him crack his neck, stretch his narrow
frame and so long starved for sun, lift up his suncut face]
to feel desire rise as flame
for some thousand years’ accumulate thought
for a jewel mind so hard and clear
it could dare to scale the sky again.