I know these tracks.
Drizzled into a vaulted cistern,
I drink its wet methane until
it’s only an empty sea again.
I know this forest.
Its plundering wisdom pours into me
like the blazing sunlight emblazons the
sails of ancestors who would have killed
me if they discovered me.
I know it pours into me and I am not alone-
all the world is a grave,
a reef sheltered grave of living imprints.
Even if these intercepting paths
cannot be shared: These tracks.
This forest. Freed from the danger of
being lost, there would be no religion
without it, only an oceanic empire
Lonely and uninhabited, lamed for life,
there would be no sacred without these
trails, hills, and streams.
Why Mars has no temples.
George Cassidy Payne is a poet from Rochester, NY. His work has been included in such publications as the Hazmat Review, Moria Poetry Journal, Chronogram Journal, Ampersand Literary Review, the Angle at St. John Fisher College, and 3:16 Journal. George’s blogs, essays and letters have appeared in the USA Today, Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, the Havana Times, the South China Morning Post, the Buffalo News, and more.