A Pillar of Salt

January 14, 2008
They glorify, exalt, consult.
No longer confined to skim the oceans
Above vast chasms of unformed dust and clay

Grateful be the rib and the slate of all slates
To be swaddled in tepid oblivion,
To project into the swallow’s warble

Glorify tides, unfaltering and plain.
Grateful be nostrils and wrinkles, the apple.
Sovereign and awesome, keepers of consciousness,
Teach us all things and all times at once.

In the furthest eon,
In the deepest schism,
They are but drizzle in the swelling breeze;
They are but pebbles in the great one’s hand,
They are, in truth and honor,

I will tell you that which makes them sacred:
We are those to consecrate the Breath
The scythe that clips tips of the innumerable wheat:

We are lilacs near the doorstep
And those that stop for them,
We are locusts and lice,
Those that pine for peace and war,
We are cotton and coal,
Tobacco and opium,
We are the pillar of salt.

When they come for me,
The darkest star, the brightest hour,
I will be mid-step.

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