“Crosswind” by AM Ringwalt



Crosswind, not
California. Metal

vessel hurtling up

A screen tells me
my elder died—

my father’s voice
repeats it.

I drive over
land and wish

for folding road,
a direct path to hold

her frail and

This road turns
in circuitous cuts

through stone,
through trees.




Crosswind: like

Crosswind: like the force
that steers a spiral.




The song here is the sound of branches at the tops of trees
colliding into each other, ricocheting, leafless chimes.




Spirals—which way to turn—represent the fragility in an open space.
– Louise Bourgeois




Don’t look left / the steep
slope cutting

Don’t look / yet I wonder
what is left?




I’m in a car but I’m trying
to talk about the cemetery.

I’m in a car but I’m trying
to talk about the calves—

climbing to the right of this bridge.




I’m in a car but I’m trying
to talk about sunlight, the way

her eyes creased
to behold it.

Now, the fur of calves
like mirrors to the sun.




to learn of death.

But I’m trying to talk
about a land of quartz.




Crosswind, you steer the car.
My gaze is straight. My mind

a blank / I yearn
OOOO(for what?)

: thickening green / a song

to turn the landscape
into quartz,

song for crystalline slopes
instead of stone bone-hued.




Crosswind, you cut through
dreams of afterlife.

Here, in lack, I yearn
for mirrors reflecting rock

until everything
can be seen through,

sung through,
against this sky

thinning out
(thinning out)

to welcome the dead.





AM Ringwalt is a writer and musician. The author of The Wheel (Spuyten Duyvil, 2021), her work appears in Jacket2Washington Square Review and Bennington ReviewWaiting Song is her most recent record. @amringwalt

March 24th, 2021|
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