Friday, February 21, 2020

Sunset Canyon Ranch at Dawn

Gut the farthest clouds.
All you can see of me now
Is grace in outline,

A negative cast
Like that gap between the bones
And the solid stone

That once was the flesh
Of a person in Pompeii—
Like the perfect skin

Turned coal, the hair red,
By the tannins in the bog,
Nothing inside them—

Like the emptied shell
Of the beetle cored by wasps
After the wasps hatched.

Like that. Why is it
That an excavated husk
Seems mostly grotesque?

Something has escaped.
Something substantive has left.
Applause for the gone—

Wave a fond farewell.
We can manage it for clouds,
For phenomena

Not trying to live—
The beauty of this mesa’s
Backlit silhouette,

The mountain cutting
A puppet in a cloud bank,
The world that is left.

The stationary
Traveler left a fine shell
Legacy in rocks

That became the cliffs
Surrounding the emptiness
Of this canyon ranch.

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