By the dawn’s early light
I see the faint track of passing deer
o’ershadowed by padding soft cougar prints,
and I leave behind what I so proudly hailed,
my back to that last twilight gleaming, my last one
I shall endure, or ever see.
I have conceded the fight fraught with perils
and I have left the path, to follow the trail,
the last trail, flag finally furled forever,
victim of futility and vain imagination.
I think it’s better this way, following the trail
of animals, far off the beaten human track
because that way I will not be found
or ever tracked out, and the last horror
will not be me blasted or bloated or slashed or purple
it will be a simple, puzzling absence.
The morning is blazing, gleams of blue and grey,
the air crisper and cleaner than a gunshot crack
and the beauty rolls from ridge to ridge
and my eyes fill and smudge a smidge
in sorrow and relief.
I’ll never see you again, but that is not a thing
cus hey, I haven’t seen you thru the night
and have no proof you’re even still there,
I don’t even know if I’m still here, truth be told.
The going gets tougher, the trail drops away
and I am bushwhacking thru thick thorny
fierce frolics of Scotch Broom and poison oak.
I won’t be allergic, where I am going.
Finally I find the deep copse dark,
slick with shadows, layers laid lifeless
and freshly dead in morning, and I walk to
the deeps of the bowl and hunker.
Down. Down. Birds dart overhead in sound and glimpse.
Down. Down. And spacious skies descend to gulp.
Down. Down. And ancient hills crouch low and dusty.
and me, in the hollow, growing thin, bleeding out, feeding grasses
copper and salt, tears and surrender, and sorrow on the wind.
Time will pass and my flesh becomes the dust from whence it came
and my bones will still delay, waiting for a spark, waiting for
the Flint of God to strike them, tender tinder with me finally
gone in ghostly ever-swoon,
and there they ever burn, in the night, in memory
of all that we endured, and all we were denied
and all I hope to spare you from
with this bonfire, this bonefire
releasing me in conflagrating furies
in flight to the stars above
and this tragedy stupid, mute, dumb