Buffalo surge over the plains at night like foam
At the edge of a wave. Nighthawks boom far above.
By dawn, the grass is scored from a thousand meteors.
St. Luke believed that true faith, like true healing,
Leaves a scar. The word is a cicatrix, torn into being,
The pain that knits itself into a shield against harm.
By now, Ishmael has grown tired of talk about archangels
And the whiteness of hell. Closing his eyes to the wind,
He dreams of a home far beyond the grieving waves.
To forget its past, the soul crosses Lethe before rebirth.
Each one of us was a prizefighter, barmaid, pope, and slave.
Come, take my hand, let’s cross this low stretch of river.
Whales don’t lament the vast latitudes they travel.
Their songs are no more about sorrow than bliss,
But are maps leading the singers across a dark trench.
It’s never clear if we’re going on a journey or into exile.
If there’s an end, it’s hidden as a wound beneath a scar.
If there’s an end, it’s endless as the plains we cross.