I looked for it in the afterlight lapping the edge
of the long valley. I sought it in canopy, in the horizon’s
fringe, past wavering powerlines, the transistor station
newly painted. I threaded the margin
between the drainage wash and the waste river,
thinking I would find it there. I wandered a vertiginous
wood, speaking slurs, letting them mash in the bramble.
I let the ridiculous names of the Lord become hum
on the end of the tongue. I told stories so I wouldn’t
have to know myself as I was. I threw my voice
into a dense thicket, as though it would end
there. And when the voice came back—still tangled
in stupid exuberance and knowing nothing—I knew
finally that the dispensation selects itself.
If a child I will go nevertheless where I am sent.
What words are offered I will allow in the mouth.