In Passing

By the intermittent light of cars snaking through city street canyons, a man, in a language once his own, turns into the arms of the dark goddess, who once bore him the dawn; a lifelong grave in waiting.

'Te wahi ngaro, e Hine.' The limitless, the silent, the black night from which his eyes had habitually cowered with ashen words.

The night of stars turning according to vast and secret laws become the spirals of his dream as he sinks wordless into the dark mud of his ancestors.

He awakens slightly as a red taillight flickers by, turning his eyes inwards towards a sanctuary light or the eyes of the goddess flashing on some horizon; his eyes, which had once imaged the war chants of his ancestors notated as heads impaled on dripping stakes.

still water . . .
a black swan arches
into the depths

The debris of a consciousness once filling the dimensions of time and space wash away in his final agony just as the flesh-like image of Te-Atua-among-us was washed away when the last witnesses’ eyes were extinguished and the perfect love for Beatrice that was no more the moment Dante breathed his last.

my shadow . . .
the page I dwell on