POETRY:  Expedition

EXPEDITION


Stars wept and oceans held their breath
and every stone along the road held back its tears
moths flew straight instead of in fluttery loops
and flame laughed then wheezed then was silent as a blank sky
until one by one a black cloud-tuft enter it or a
feeble ray of light cross its path

Adam raised his head but no creature
dared return his gaze these very ones he had once
named so carefully each serpent’s coil of them
having lovingly caressed their furry necks or
learned the alphabet from watching them take wing
lopsidedly soaring then righting themselves then
swooping like a written letter’s final happy stroke

Eve walked with her head down
saying goodbye to every beloved blade of grass
it would take millenniums for Whitman to reclaim in
original pure light and she also wept as she felt the
fine webs of sweet connection with all sentient matter lightly
unstick themselves from her body as she
walked forward over the moaning turf

And as they passed pools and forests they once
knew by secret name so sweet to their
tongues each nook and quick vista to their
senses known once the way blind fingers
recognize Braille

As they walked now to their darker and denser music they also
felt themselves somehow sinking through a
strangely different kind of matter one less
translucent one far more enigmatic

With each footfall the landscape became
unfamiliar the bird cries abstract the sound of
rushing water a loud wordless whoosh

The earth under their feet more solid
the world around them alien
every crack of twig or flick of leaf a possible
deadly serpent in hiding withholding its knowledge until it
strike

Their eyes also filled with tears through which they saw
a hard universe to fathom
distant stars overhead also weeping but now
unseen and silent to their senses

Adam turned to her who was fleeing
backward out of sight but facing forward like
Eurydice streaming away from Orpheus back into the
underworld

Eve’s tearful eyes shining like planets

her arms at her sides her wide mouth silent

5/27


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