Almanac of Faithful Negotiations
Here, at the edge of heaven,
I inhabit my absence.
On the first day, we find evidence of elk but not the elk themselves.
On the second, we see the charred and blackened sleeves fire leaves but not a single flame.
By the third day, the oldest trees have already ascended but the microbial mouths buried in the dirt remain.
After four days, our minds flood with rivers and creeks, and we find it hard to speak, except in mud and stone.
On the fifth, ravens decorate a white-oak snag, croaking in the voices of our drunk uncles, reminding us whose house we live in.
Six days gone, a fisher stands on hind legs, stares across the meadow’s expanse, dares us to approach the porcupine-corpse, muzzle red with the body’s sugar.
When the last day comes, only minutes before dawn, susurration of wind, stars moving back into the invisible, all of us wondering when we will join them.