Down the long road leading me back to me
I saw my holy friends. I called hello.
This is not allegory. Mind me well.
I do not speak in tongues or prophecy.
I talk in the plain speech of poetry,
which is to say, the morning gives me stars,
leftover nights from which to fabricate
a path such as the first inhabitants
of earth, our ancestors, apes standing up,
could look to and by finding direction
name Cassiopeia, the Pleiades.
Hereafter followed the great voyages,
the three who blindly followed light to light
they came to call God in mythologies,
the rounding of the cape and continents
speaking, given languages of their own.
I said this poem is only about me:
when I came to believe, I was a speck
the light came to. I had my place on earth.
It didn’t matter how tiny I am,
how short my stay—being here, I always was,
I will be, am. Matter’s never destroyed.
I’m the first man, the last man, shouting this.
The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.