At the threshold of the divine, how to know
But indirectly, to hear the static as
Pattern, to hear the rough-edged white noise as song.
Wait, not as song – but to intuit the songbird
Within the thorn thicket, safe, hidden there.
Every moment is not a time for song
or singing. Imagine a Buddha, handmade,
Four meters high of compacted ash, the ash
Remnants of joss sticks that incarnated prayer.
With each breath, the whole slowly disintegrates.
With each footfall, ash shifts. The Buddha crumbles.
To face it, we efface it with our presence.
An infant will often turn away as if
Not to see is the same as not being seen.
There was fire, but God was not the fire.
— from Crow-Work, by Eric Pankey (Minneapolis: Milkweed Editions, 2015). Copyright © 2015 by Eric Pankey.