He did not go far, and the journey was long.
It seemed his quest was to enact the shadow
of a distant ridge, until it was the distant ridge
that became somehow the shadow of him.
This freed him to swaddle an entire stone,
to be a cloak, to gown the gray granite of a cog
in a mountain’s machinery, to be the skin of it,
to feed it such moisture as he could sift
from rain and snow and wind. He was happy.
Everything he thought became his being.
Everything was the same. He knew his place
and his place was everywhere he could feel.
The fire that killed him released his spirit,
and a woman breathed it and became
his grandmother, who planted a moss garden
behind her house. At first he did not know why
he loved the place so much. Then the wild lichen
that had affixed itself to the ear of a stone rabbit
spoke to him in a tongue he understood: a calling.
Speak of the silence, say nothing not a secret
to the world. Kiss the earth for all your life.