Once, a child alone when October came
I hear his footsteps just in the next room
and when I rush to see him there
he wasn’t there. He was everywhere.
Much later I cross a river, climb the embankment
of trees, upwards to the plains, dry and dusty
their breath, until I choke, my breath raw
diseased, my bones on fire, the pain rasping
pits of agony, feet twisted into unnatural screws.
He stands clothed like a burning bush in wilderness
autumn’s cloak across the mountaintop
a fire unnatural, burning yet not burning
for blind eyes to see, deaf ears to hear, “I AM.”
Now as another October comes
I feel him near, the warmth of his presence
a river running through the weatherized
windows and doors, invisibly clear.
I know this darkness before light
I know this voice before sound
I know this death in life
where bush burns…
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