I DON’T KNOW WHAT THIS IS
It’s a hole, it’s a dread, it’s a gate, it’s a door, it’s a garden.
It’s a calender of labyrinths on the moon with my
fingerprints on it. It’s nothing, it’s everything, it’s oblivion.
The long forever with a tide that keeps going out
like the red wavelengths of the veils and the death shrouds
that hang like the spider webs, mandalas, and dream catchers
in the windows of the nets of wonder and allurement so the eyes
in its blood can mark the night with stars as if
the waters of life were forging swords in the moonlight.
It’s a threshold we put there to step across
into the vast night ahead of us like a firewalk with ourselves
among the wild irises when the obsidian water snakes
are hunting the eggs of the frogs among the wild irises.
Everybody’s got a window in their heart with a name on it.
Everybody’s got a tree they sit under with a god
that intrigues them with its silence, its solitude,
its chaos. An abyss that sprouts quail in the burning underbrush.
A conflagration of daylilies started by the pilgrims
lost in the valleys of the rootfires of the holy ghosts
of the cedars and the birch trees, worshipping smoke
that reeks of oak and mistletoe. Lonely nightbirds
who’ve given up waiting for an answer to their prayers
and just sing in the ear of the silence that’s unattainable
with longing made fair by the intangible moonrise.
A bubble, a lightning bolt, a firefly, a hungry ghost, the mist
hanging on a blade of stargrass like the pearl
of a sacred syllable that spoke like water of darkness
and light, equally alike, without staining the mind
with a choice it didn’t have to make for itself to stay outside
and keep a firepit it was in love with company for the night
as the wind and the dawn appointed windfalls to the stars
like shepherd moons and planets they gathered
like a rosary of prayer beads that had forgotten
what they’d ask for in the presence of a magnificence
that already knew them. La, la, the lives one sing in lonely echoes
of the waterbirds and hills across a gulf of dread
as empty as the urns of the dead that were scattered
across the rootfires of the stars and the ashes of the roses
that adored them. Never let it be said the wind
didn’t know the weight of our wings, or the sun
didn’t cradle our faces in the hands of the light
and look upon us like a child that had done something
right for a change of heart toward the darkness
that surrounds us like a window with a name on it
blithely perishing into its own blindness like a candle
in the morning light of a chimney where the birds
are singing brightly to the angels that awoke them
from the dreams of the locust tree that slowly died
on the nightwatch of the moon that softly cried
in the shadows of providence foregone with time
in a tide of bells and watersheds and housewells
that closed their eyes like the brine of a memory
that hurt because it was so beautiful it was wise
in the ways of the remote like a secret it kept to itself
among the leaves and the unsigned loveletters of an event
so spectacular that silence put a finger to the lips of solitude
and said speak no more of it as the words descend like snow
through the lamp posts of what was not disclosed.