by Jonathon Egan
The first time it died, I was unprepared.
The dark curtain fell,
the heavens disrobed,
and I was bare before the trees
that leaned in suddenly, witnesses to
the final draughts of sunlight
spilling from the embers
Startled by the numinous, a
last log then, meant for morning,
thrown in haste
to ward against the stars
and give me time to grow accustomed
to the honesty of dusk.
The second time it died, I was steeled.
Perseids to the northeast.
Mexico to the south.
The woodpeckers that rung the wood
so satisfyingly through the day
now asleep in fibrous cavities above me.
And underfoot: acorn caps, leaves, and
dust in piles on piles.
Now strongly tempted to remove my shoes, I
lift my eyes beyond the bower –
neck craning – to behold
not a burning bush,
but there, in worlds without number –
sounding with the last crickets in my ears and
pressing on the creases behind my knees –
a revelation in a whisper
teaching what will move and what will not.