The way he brings it in,
leaves falling from his hair,
then kisses me, you would think
that gardening is pleasure,
which he says it is, digging deep
to kill bermuda roots, piercing
his hands on roses.
Sweat drips into my eyes
from his forehead, physician
curing himself with soil.
Sometimes I join him, raking
the pages of leaves, but the garden
is his, the place which gathers
struggles from his hands
and returns its own --
the story of dust, an origin
so deep and dense, it rose
like fire to make the mountain,
a narrative of tumble
and breakage from its sides
the wet roar of ages
under the slow beat of the sun.
The mountain offering itself
in mud, sticks and stones
for his space, his touch,
to make of it a shape and fragrance,
to taste the center of this earth.