by David Allan Cates
A flash on the ridge lengthens shadows, dims the wire
of ravens, and you retreat again tonight.
Madness drives us to bury seeds in what solitude
and night reveal—or perhaps it's only vigor.
Born in longing, words come to life in whispers,
the first truth I know.
What more could I want? Rivets?
Trembling and vertiginous, our little genius
explodes. Sparks fall and I seek shelter where I can—
naked on the wing, a hero in wet socks—
but I'm flattering myself again.
It's raining stars, love, I'll say, and maybe you'll hear me.
Maybe I'll feel you near.
David Allan Cates is the author of five novels, Hunger In America, a New York Times Notable Book, X Out Of Wonderland and Freeman Walker, both Montana Book Award Honor Books, and in 2012, Ben Armstrong’s Strange Trip Home, winner of a Gold Medal for Best Fiction in the 2013 Independent Book Publishers Book Awards.
His fifth novel, Tom Connor’s Gift, was released by Bangtail Press in October of 2014, and also won a Gold Medal for Best Fiction in the 2015 independent Book Publishers Book awards.
Cates is the winner of the 2010 Montana Arts Council’s Innovative Artist Award and his short story, “Rubber Boy,” (Glimmer Train 70) is a distinguished story in the 2010 Best American Short Stories. His stories and poems have appeared in numerous literary magazines, and his travel articles in Outside Magazine and the New York Times Sophisticated Traveler.
"On A Cliff With You" was published in Cates' 2016 collection The Mysterious Location of Krygzstan.