Mount Katahdin is damp pines at the trail head
where Halloween dawn is lost in cloud cover
and even as my first steps leave the print of my last
I don’t feel like I have begun anything at all.
I am another walker on the forest floor,
the far hills of Maine follow as the vague moon follows,
reminding that I'll measure my days by shadow
and my distance in nothing less than days.
This morning the beeches are bare, the forest hollowed out
across the next swale into the far hazy rise.
If there is a stream to cross, there are a thousand streams,
this one a creek or kill, this one a rill.
I.M. Pei uses limestone to play with approach
and his Miho appears born from the Shiga Mountains,
yet the reception hall at the Louvre is violent
and in it we are damp bone bags to be disgorged.
You will not find yourself in the back hall of the café,
suddenly sauntering under a Le Brun ceiling.
Master Pei shouts sharply if we wander from the path:
there is that Paris; here is this bell jar; only then art.
The galleries are diagrams of acceptable difference:
your three inches of height, not your 50 pounds of mass;
your ays, not your arrs;
your infant, not your daughter or your son;
your confession, not your absolution.