Remembering the Big Obsidian Flow, Newberry Caldera, Oregon
The black stone that is not stone but
a piece of earth’s mysterious bowels
Astonished by its appearance in the oxygenated landscape
Its molecules frozen in that millisecond of emergence.
We, the humans, see what it can be.
It is the knife that cuts both ways
Slices atom from atom
Parting astonishment from astonishment
So that we can slice so thin
That even flesh does not pause in its production of cell upon cell
And has no recognition of the parting.
It is like the bird,
Cutting the air for such a brief moment that
Air needs not know its passing.
From where has this blackness come,
From where this sharp flight?
What can we do but find it
Somewhere in the inventory
Of the soul.