It is possible in this old process,
that the student in his notebook
finds the missing girl and sharpens her,
makes her hair like seven flames,
like a gift of old linen or spokes
of meat after an explosion,
but her body is never found.
Rain hits the flat of a spatula.
Cuffs of denim snag on stumps.
The maps we mull, ignored
by roads, declare specific stones
and mention fences. Further south,
in a tall dead grass by the river,
the student sketches gooey bees.
Not one man, but many men,
afraid of owls, of years, of stopping,
need her quiet bones to gleam, though sun
for us is pain. These stones in a row
form the base of a wall, but not
a signal mound or pedestal.
We need a place to start from.