Time has a way of eroding the hardest of shoulders
to the new enlightened burdens of inconvenient truths.

We follow the cairns left by the ones who came before,
Their stories stitched under tongue by time, becoming our own,
Stories, say the elders, are echo location, striking surfaces wet with rain.
It is only in drought that we call her, and ever lovingly, only in name.
The stories are bigger than you and me, and yet still,
we have the harrow and the harm to lift them.

We are in the Braille school of what we don’t speak or don’t see, but know to feel
I cannot make you see something you already know.
You name it something different than it is,
laboring hard to exist outside of the barracks of your naming,
Is the landscape our canvas? Or are we the canvas of this land?

In conjoint diction, we tongue our way to gnosis through a shared plow.
In revenant action, we leave less trace upon her stones than the day we came.
In great wide beauty, we give up legacy for no need to sandblast names.
In exalted mortality, we offer time as the service to tender grace.

The big need not protect from the sting of the small,
but the small from the sleeping stampede of the deputized big.
Robbery, it seems, only applies to green paper.
What salve do you offer the land upon departure?
What balm or mend or propolis?

We are the seam, the concourse, the joint, and the junction.
We are the infinitive, my love, or the conjugation.

There were taller men here before,
and rugged women, and rocky mountain sheep.
This impertinent species, now, of follow and swallow,
Taking in what is directed, two pills a day with an always.available.refill.
Never knowing the silk.souled.filament from one bulb flower to another
stringing us inextricably together ——— like temporary —— and tender — paper dolls.

I have nothing to prove upon this land except that she stay here longer than I.