Perfect Practice

Our ancestors left messages about who and what
they were, but now we can’t decipher them.
We see their handprints on cave walls, speculate
on what it was like to be them, to be ourselves
in the other time, the time we don’t remember.
I am practicing losing my identity, practicing
for the time when I will no longer remember
anything about what I thought I was.
I will be confused at first, not unlike I am now,
but I won’t gradually become sensible again,
I will not eventually come around.
In that other time, perhaps I will be looking
at my hands, but in any case, not knowing.
Names will no longer matter, do they even now?
I may be in love, but not know with whom.
What still matters, when everything slips off
from its moorings and drifts quietly away?
I’ve heard even rocks are conscious, their light
is just slowed down until they become silent.
I like that, the destiny of silence: to be present,
to be aware, but not moving, not making up words
to separate myself from the earth, the sky, the expanse.
The easy path, the effortless way, the perfect practice
that we have been reading and wondering about
is not different than this very moment.
We are not any name, but the great expanse
that was living our ancestors still appears
within us even now, right in the palms
of our own silent hands.
Without any preconception or clever strategy,
we lift them up, higher now — there is no way to fail.

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