When my unemployed faith reappeared as boredom,
it seemed a diplomatic triumph. But just about then
animals began to intercept me in my wanderings.
I grew more and more susceptible to their solicitations.
Trees are probably fearless, but the forest should have
known better than to show off like that. We had long known
that God pitches his tent among the castoffs at the base
of the mountain, and that fair Dawn, with her fingertips
of rose, is another living power. Staring, said X, is good
for what passes as the soul. When we crawled from
the tunnel, the square was strewn with masonry.
The cathedral’s back was ripped open, as if bleeding
from a terrible wound. And then the hand of a child.
Asked for whom she wrote, Y replied, Myself and strangers.
Time makes its witnesses forget. But the trees
should have known better. John Henry and Staggerlee
once belonged to us all. The animals began
to intercept me and the others, cast off at the base
of the mountain. Even the humble word brush gives off
a scrap of light. Some sensations have lost their fascination
for me, but not all. Fearless or not, the witnesses
keep talking. Dawn seems a diplomatic triumph.
God pitches his tent in the body’s hidden glen.
The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.