To myself, I am various bodies
Of distinct but interrelated lore,
How Zhuangzi’s windy, mocking Daoism
Ended as potions and poisons at court,
How Zoroaster’s anger at abuse
Of priestly power ended up wearing crowns
And carving imperial boasts on cliffs,
How martyred carpenters were carved in gold—
All those charming stories of challengers
Corroded, schemes for immortality.
Well, who can blame those little men? I can’t.
They made me as I am, and now I sink,
Heavy-starred, narrative of narratives,
How creatures who begin to know themselves
Can’t help but try to squeeze out what they want,
Eternity, from what they’ve learned from days.