for Ruth, Lione, and Siresa


In the land of the half-finished sentence Oh My God is all I need and the ground beneath my feet—muskeg, sipping roots and all—sing of a time before song, before words though Halleluiah was even then a way to walk in the world praising wherever we step—and in the land of the half-finished sentence (the half-finished sentence) I trip over child awe where wander-by still abides and takes up singing bright and burning as any flower, spruce and hemlocks a hundred feet tall and moss so enraptured green it covers everything, even my arms, my lips and green deep inside my throat and the new clouds coming from our mouths and every breath, our voices coming out of the mist to become a human mist who speaks only in holy ovals as we breathe O and O and O again for in this circle and space alone only wonder and sorrow pass through, and green my joyous lungs to know this sacred-most still greening all the same, breathing beauty back by simply breathing out—and in the land of the half-finished sentence I sacred count the steps by the Indian River and the salmon of mystic knowledge I have touched and held but once so almost forever taking me back to boyhood wonder that never ends, eternity in memory and the dying surcease to propagate their kind in myriad, translucent eggs clear as singing glass—and in the land of the half-finished sentence we go down Moses a 1,000 times, we Rumi-ize our whirling hearts, I am led into rain forests by women half my age who are wiser than I will ever be, feral creatures coming out of us one by one and stepping into the Zion bead of every drop of rain and tears to rinse and purify our waking lives and wash away all fear, green moment barren of any wish except to be here walking among the ferns in such rapt and quiet gladness even as the bears root out their skunk cabbage and blue berries, the chickens in town they have not yet killed who are yet pecking away like silly typewriters, we a few simple children again in paradise making up names as we go in poems we have not yet written who write us still in the currents of heaven and every flowing ghost, the trembling truth of water guiding us where we step by waterfalls and braided streams so close and trembling glad we hear them as a voice, a prayer, a living song that speaks and whispers for all who live and thunder in the distance cracking open another broken and seeking heart, or someone’s tender yearning no listening god could ever name.