Loki Invents the Net

Here’s where the investigation
starts, with small things, gray and quick
in cool ashes when the fire has burned
down and shapes emerge:
a filigree pattern, some kind of net
woven to catch salmon in their obsessive run

or maybe a map to a series of doors
someone has painted on canvass
over and over, each in a different light
so the same key could never fit,
so each would lead to another hall of bells
or a room filled with African drums, or a forest
made of gemstones and pearls.

What if the roof of this house were made
of flesh? Who could shelter
in this heat, or bear the throbbing of so many
desolate hearts? What the eye
sees, the brain can engineer, image
made flesh again and again. So many traps,
so many angry gods, their faces pressed against
river’s skin. So many twists, such darting
to scrape the bottom, such changing
bodies, transformations to escape and flow
down to the sea, where the world might end
with the rush of a great falls, a mountain of water
spilling in an endless spume into the starry arms of space.

[Steve Klepetar’s work has received several nominations for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Flutter Press has recently published two chapbooks: My Father Teaches Me a Magic Word and My Father Had Another Eye.]