THE LOW ROAD
for David Silverman
live within each other yet,
the two of you forever
hitching down from the Smokies
on a misty spring morning to the beach.
You with your fiddle and backpack
and him with his pillowcase
of books and clothes, his sixty-five
dollar guitar and a whiskey named
Within each other because your bodies
are made of music and memories:
You follow the plunge of a dare
from a high cliff in Texas
into the cold Pedernales;
In the abandoned shell of a silver
in Arizona, rests a black bible
with a cover-hole burnt
by the candle of the midnight vision
Outside the falling cabin in Mogollon,
your friendship lingers
within an old piece of burly maple,
under a box elder guarded by a huge
The first woman between you was fierce
in her love of all manliness dancing
the stars away at White Sands,
attended by curious tarantulas;
The last woman between you was pale
and you both baptized with water.
His body, yours,
Tom Paine's body
Magginni's dead black soul.
He disappeared in Hopi land
on the trail of a turquoise
That first year, away in the Cascades,
as the first snow fell on apple
you dreamed of him riding a purple
across a silent zone in Torreon.
Once, riding a boxcar in Idaho,
you met one who met him
in a bus station in Guatemala,
with a girl and a mandolin.
The cowboy hat he gave to you in Tulsa
you lost shooting the Colorado.
He found the feather from it
near the ocean in California.
By the fireside of the first house
north of Missoula, you send him a wire
of trills and double notes,
your horsehair bow furiously telegraphs
purfled glory sounds the living depths.
With a glass of old George,
Sunday's paper shrivels atop dying
will heart wood still dance as it