The light house at Point Reyes
is lacking one prism
because no one can find out
how to make what has been lost.
All of us lose something,
forget how we drew flame
from one another’s hearts.
And forgetting, we stand alone
on high perches, our signals incomplete:
warning / beckoning above the craggy shore.
Searching out grasses just below the snow line,
Dall’s sheep dance on outcroppings of rock
where predators can’t follow.
What have they lost?
To survive by simply standing
where one is safe is a lesson
I can’t unlearn; nor how to balance
on a step so high, almost in flight,
no turning back.
I can’t get back to what we knew:
my longing stretches between two poles
(warning / beckoning)
like those near the hunter’s cabin
where animal skins, scraped clean,
dry in the sun of memory
to a thin film, a lens
for a flickering beacon
lacking one prism.