Doug Ramspeck

How Humans Came to Love

First rain overwhelmed
the creek, scratching earth.
You could sense the years
were eyelids opening
then closing. You could watch
in the primitive field—
beyond where the waters
slipped—a homily of stars
congealing after dark.
It was cold when the black
winds arranged themselves
across the plains. And there,
in a faint depression
of bare ground, two shadows
huddled close, the human
warmth conserved between
them soundless and discursive.
Soon the clouds dissolved
to expose the extracted
tooth of moon.
In the distant trees
a lost creature began
crying out its death agony.
The shadows stirred
faintly in their dreams,
slipping closer—the way
a rock dropped into
dark waters disappears.

Doug Ramspeck is the author of five poetry collections. His most recent book, Original Bodies, was selected for the Michael Waters Poetry Prize and is forthcoming by Southern Indiana Review Press.