Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita
mi ritrovai per una selva oscura
che la diritta via era smarrita

Dante, The Divine Comedy (Canto 1, Part 1, Inferno)

Past the middle, by imperfect calculus:
as in the tale which starts with the boat
descending into the river’s mouth—

The waters with their dark pearl sheen,
mile after mile traveled back through time
that cannot be recovered except as dream.

And it is true the body is its own freight,
pulling everything it’s touched and burned for
in its wake: grass, cricket song, paper

and thorn; lantern lights, flesh and its robe
the color of smoke and clouds. Wherever I go,
I’ll feel the pulse of that beacon signaling

always ahead of arrival, invisible thread
drawn from foot-sole and up through crown
of the head. O long-lost love, bear me safely

across the chasm; seat me at your table.


In response to Via Negativa: Ranter.

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