a heaven here (back and forth)

the heights which we climb,

for our salvation, for our success–

the swaying of the path of righteousness,

the ascetic, the excess.

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moving through cathedral mountain

we forded the river
at its lowest point,
water rushing up
past our knees,

the birds, black wings,
white-tipped, circled
our last stop,

hungry. waiting.

by noon, the sun
cast no shadows
from the midpoint
of the sky.

the rocks on either
side of us
glistened their
quartz veins

and opened in
a shattering
of light.

we cast our shadows
from the light
of the rocks

while the sun hung
still, unmoving,
overhead.

the river washed
everything clean
with its swelling
when the rains came.

the birds found
roost on an island
where the river split,

closed their eyes
and dreamt.

So Long, _________

so long, we say,
falling back into the
waking and moving,
the working and resting,
toward the shadows
where we move, unseen,
working for the world
that will never
know our name.

so long, we moan,
it’s been so long
since we could look
at ourselves and see
someone familiar.

so long, we say,
so long to self-doubt,
so long to self-pity,
so long since we could
stand, so long since we
could speak, so long since
the light has broken into
the shadows that lengthen
at the edges of the sun.

too long.