what cannot be named

we doubt even God.
the earth underfoot shifts.
mist obscures cedar crowns.
nothing here says a man matters one whit.

seattle, that thinks it is everything,
is nothing:  a scab for the plate of juan de fuca
(which has no real name) to slough off.
there are no words at the end of the world,

only the beginning of the next /
which is the same world / nameless:
not cascadia, not british columbia,
not some slaveholding president,

just grey rain that falls and falls again.
ash burns, mud flows:  this may be true.

who are we to say?
we who cannot see the sky,
who kill what we love,
love what we cannot know.

be silent:  the cedar speaks so slowly
it takes a human lifetime to say goodbye.

(c)2015 Michael Schein

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