A glowing vector shot across the sky,
the last, illumined fragment of a shattered world,
screaming in octaves
of fire and dissolution.
I peered into the majesty left behind,
into that gathering field of stars
and distances beyond measure,
of potency and shimmering songs,
feeling its Invitation draw the life within me
to the surface
the way the moon pulls the water
up through stone beneath the land,
the way tears rise to the surface
when a holy One is near,
and I said, “Yes…”
I said, “Yes…”
and uncorked a bottle full of ghosts
who fled my chest and careened
across fields of vision and dreams,
parsing my history into colors, heat and beasts.
A battalion of bearded soldiers, bereft of purpose,
marched lockstep towards the world’s stark edge.
An elephant charged at the sun
before a jury of on-looking hyenas–
a line of swollen tongues, chuckling fur and haunches.
In the distance, grass was trampled underfoot,
while here, a leopard stepped out from the trees
and came for me like a gliding death,
stalking, angry and fluid,
a fury without edges or corners,
a raw power aware of nothing
but hunger, nothing
but being haunted, nothing
but the need to tear me open and
spring through the wound, into the space beyond–
to free us both of this torment.
One by one the rows of men spilled over the cliff,
A pair of macaws shrieked and shook the trees,
and she sprang, rasping,
her warmth and weight crashing into me,
her claws a volley of hot, curled stakes
that dug through my ribs
and clutched, like fists of needles, my heart.
I gasped, withering in her grip,
sensing the last remnant
of a history I had once occupied
release, and slip beneath the surface of a mighty river.
Pierced and bleeding,
I staggered into her gaze,
into the starless void of her waiting eyes.
I stumbled along that hollow passageway
for a century, lost to thought,
bearing my pain like a lamp in the darkness,
pouring out from my wound–
out into emptiness…
The final act of annihilation
is the realization that the end
I once craved will never come,
that an ending had never been a valid destiny,
that I have been unmasked
and baptized in the river of all Being.
I emerge to find myself standing by the sea.
Mary stands behind me
with her hand on my back, just behind my heart.
She is presenting me to the rising sun.
In the distance, a line of small wooden boats
are spilling over the world’s edge,
the men inside them transforming
into great winged birds that dot the sky,
one after another,
in an uninterrupted convoy
towards the heavens.
but what is saying,
with its own voice,
the Meaning that fills all beings to over-flowing.