MICHAEL McGRIFFLetter from an Abandoned Army Bunker Near Cape Arago Concerning the Physics of War

It’s been raining
just enough
to be called rain,
and the black sand
where Tanner Creek
empties into the surf
has the near-glow
of a glass lamp
covered in dust.
The sand, prized
among hourglass makers
for its fine
consistent grain.
Time falling
through an object—
for once
I understand
this beauty.
It’s when an object
falls through time
that all sorrows begin.


Michael McGriff is the author of several books, including the recent poetry collections Early Hour and Black Postcards. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Bookforum, The Believer, and Tin House. He teaches creative writing in the MFA program at the University of Idaho.