I left two of my thousand feet
nest-venturing amidst river
stones – gray, lightening-wrapped, quartzed, algae-locks
fristling free in the icy tide.
I left two of my thousand eyes
between splinters and tiny flowers
to take in for me for a thousand years
the limited expanse of black sparkling sand
the black rocks breaking water into fireworks
the burps of volcanoes immortalized, until they fade into white
clouds, the ghosts of past explosions, the overlookers.
I picked up a particular piece of driftwood
inspected the tiny halls and chapels eaten into the red
xyle, watched black volcanic devotees the size of sand-blips
jizzle out of their rooms
memorized the story mapped uncompassed on the redwood:
a labyrinth of tiny pools, a circus of black-rimmed eyes
devoid of pupils, instead inscribed with the wrinkles
of years that once were rings
of unsteady hand that wrought the terror
of being split by lightning or wrote the serenity
of being split by an axe-machine.
And I learned the meaning by heart and ear
then I put the piece of story down beside my vacated
footprint in the glittering black sand
and strolled away, into cloud,
lighter on my hundred and ninety-eight feet
lighter for carrying this story heavy with salt
fresh from heaviness.