"If your eyes are not deceived by the mirage
Do not be proud of the sharpness of your understanding;
It may be your freedom from this optical illusion
Is due to the imperfectness of your thirst."
-- Sohrawardi, as quoted in the epigraph to Galway Kinnell's book of poems, Imperfect Thirst
My Daughter Gathers Rocks Wherever She Goes
As if she knows erosion
to be the only constant. As if
she could reverse it, only time
and room to stack the limiting factors.
As if she could hold the whole
earth, the trick not finding the pieces
but fitting her fingers around them.
Pockets filled, digging in grass
for granite and quartz, rock after rock
stacked on the puddingstone poking
from hilltops glaciers left behind.
The way we trace a line
from star to star, as if a story
could order the chaos—infinite
expansion made to obey the laws
of coloring books—as if the stars
might never dim, never collapse.
Wherever she goes,
a singular searching, unshakable.
The way that generations
built their temples block by block, rock’s
seeming permanence how we measure
ourselves to the day ahead: another
place to excavate, another stretch
of empty sky to fill up with our shapes.