I have read the words of others, I have learned.
Whatever I have learned, now I must unlearn.
I will speak with my own words. At last, I must.
My body is a canyon where a secret river runs.
The river is the force of will, of life intention.
I am not the river, I am not the canyon body.
My will is a wind-blown shadow,
my intent is not a thing at all.
I am not the eagle or the crow, not the heron
winging through the canyon, not its shadow
on the river, but I am more their shadow
than the heron, eagle, or the crow.
Here is something I will say:
when the storm goes shouting down the canyon,
I am not the wind, the rain, the thunder, nor am I
the chaos in its wake, although I am more like
chaos than I am the thunder, wind, or rain.
Because one eye holds the daylight, and the other
the night, everything is seen, but nothing is known.
I am looking down the canyon like a mirror,
it is a mirror of emptiness, everything is here —
the river runs through it, the shadows soar
through it, the storm blows through it.
My mouth is open. It is gulping daylight,
swallowing the night, the river of shadows
is where the tongue would be.
No sound is coming out in the form of every sound.
The eagle, crow, the heron all make that sound.
The storm itself is silent, its shout is that same sound
blowing across the canyon mirror, my immense body.
When I hold up my hands, nothing happens.
When I move my feet, the same.
I will do no harm, but I may be dangerous.
Birds get lost in me, storms leave certain shadows.
The shadows stand up and mimic the human lives,
until no one can tell which is the real person.
I am not that one. That one opens an enormous mouth
and everything flies out, making sounds, storms,
making love, making war, making the argument
for fate or free will, making space and time
into one river without beginning or end,
making words to say it.
I have read those words. I have learned.
Whatever I have learned, now I must unlearn.
I will speak myself into silence — now at last, I will.

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