I am afraid that love annihilates the world.
It is obvious the stairs continue, but
whether they are chipped and broken,
whether it is dark or light at the top,
whether I will like the place they lead
is completely obscured.
We sobbed, bent double, chanting impossible;
the rain; the moktak; that roar, the smell
of burning pine so fresh but edged with kerosene;
the heat of that enormous fire; the smoke, the gray sky.
Our teacher was returning to the sky.
Luck in those final moments, I felt it
the strange sensation of hope
passing through on its way
to somewhere else.
The only safe way to dream of the dead
is to dream the dream in common.