He confounds himself with the way
The water moves in circles,
With the landscape that has no philosophy
But goes about its business
Moving silt and leaf mold.
He doesn’t understand how
The unreflecting birds aren’t
Amazed by their invention of flight,
How the wind leaves no signature
In the nocturnal reeds,
How even the ocean fills
With anonymous color.
The book, he thinks, will never close
Because the author can’t be tracked
In the marsh, where the remains
Of animals combust in silence,
A green autonomous fire burns for days.
Kinesis of light
And opens gutters
In the rocks.
Through the passage
A thin god
Lifts a yellow flower
And someone turns to stone.
Fifteen centuries later
A surveyor finds the stone
And falls in love.
He gazes at it for hours,
Has it lugged from the mountain
To a larger room inside his house.
He paints it shades of fuchsia,
Draws two mysterious eyes mid-surface.
They glow like bee-stings.
He goes crazy over the stone
Whose gravity pulls his
Whole life around it.
Eventually he chisels it open
To find a strange, petrified body.
He dresses it in a yellow dress
And calls it Grace.
Not once did he carry the stone
Past the landscape’s inner margin.
Beyond it, the sea jettied out
And the world dissolved.
He had been tasked with building
A bridge between abysses,
To graph the origin of light.
But the edges were insurmountable
And his heart itself favored mountains.
The one rumored thing to have passed
The vanishing point was a small bird
Named Extinction. But it hadn’t been seen
For centuries, and the organ that perceived it
Had been replaced by the robot’s eyes.
Seth Jani currently resides in Seattle, WA and is the founder of Seven CirclePress (www.sevencirclepress.com). His own work has been published widely in such places as The Chiron Review, El Portal, The Hamilton Stone Review, Hawai`i Pacific Review, VAYAVYA, Gingerbread House, Gravel and Zetetic: A Record of Unusual Inquiry. More about him and his work can be found at www.sethjani.com.