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Askings in the Dusk

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Scorched edges sealed--
so quick, with a ribbon tied--
That one can't help but wonder:
Where landed the seeds
The storm scattered?

Seething pools inhabited
The wells we dug with our hands
Sparked, spattered, cracked
The steam rises,
Vapor entangled in the web of muted stars
If swelling fire can turn to wisps so easily...
Where landed the sparks? the ashes?

This place is home, you say
But home isn't stony chunks
Dead trunks and roots upturned
What of these trees?
What of these mountains?
What--tell me!-- What of these trees,
When did home become flat, dead stools?
What of these trees?
What of these whispers home?

You talk of past times
Slippery are your words
Drowned you change to watery defeat,
Plunging to splash, a dip of your toes
But never a dry word to dribble down your chin
The tears you choke on
Turn your syllables to liquidy fables
When you talk of past times.

With all of the gravity of the fading stars,
And with all of the levity of the eternal Wind,
I ask you:
Where landed the seeds
The storm scattered?
Where landed the sparks? the ashes?
Where settled the smoke that rose?
Where anchored your feet--
after skidding on clouds and clouds,
after digging your heels into the puff, leaping
head over heels over head over and over--
Where anchored your feet?
Where stood the Man you were?
And where stands the man you have become?
And where, in what space, stands the difference?

I squint.
Behind the mountains I see...
Gray beings with foggy corners,
Buoyed by the snowy peaks.
I squint and I see clouds on clouds,
chasing the pale dotty stars,
or maybe just racing away,
Far away racing from the smoke.

In the dusk, I ask.
In the smoke and the ashes, I ask.
In the dusk and the vapor and the water, I ask.
If the storm is passed,
then why have the stars not brightened?
If the smoke is cleared,
then why do the ashes burn my nostrils? taint my palms?
If the ground is dried,
then why do my soles drip mud?

In the dusk, I ask.
And I wait for the tree
I wait, I wait for the tree
Then I will know
Where landed the seeds
The storm scattered.



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