Kevin Prufer


Fallen from a Chariot


There is, first of all, her body,
-----------------------------------and the snow around it

so, at a glance, it is the glittering body of a god who fell
too far
--------and can no longer rise, cannot transform--
a bird, a deer--away.


The snow, of course, from the trees, with the wind.

Or the car and the bridge it fell from, the rail
which like the body is twisted.
-----------------------------------The broken windshield

from which the body flew and a hand below the belly,
not a god's hand, but hard as a root,

the other, pointed up as though it could sprout leaves--


The zero in the body, the mind that left it
when the face blued and the fingers uncurled
and afterward froze--
--------------------------It is a comfort
that the eyes don't see the snow covering them,
that, finally, only we can move the body away.


Good, too, that she precedes us.
Good that we have, as a lesson, her car
which, unlike the body, steams
------------------------------------but to us means nothing.
Good to believe that the body is, after all, merely
a machine that has stopped
--------------------------------and will not work again.