There is a forest that I return to
when I can’t get away from the pulsations
of thinking. A forest of tombs as still
as dead tree trunks and melodious as raindrops
on red pine needles. The paths of my ancestors.
In this forest, I am not alive like I usually am.
Stepping in mink tracks, I know this place in
my tendons like a ghost knows the temperature of
fog. Here, the Independence River runs like a lovely
ribbon until it pounds into a ravine of crumbling shale.
And I know that old hunger returning from vanished glaciers.
In this forest, my arms, as I meander, wave like prayer flags
hung out to the ragged border between life and death- a place
where I can survive outside the womb. A place where I can
become a wilderness dancer touching the mud softer than ivory.