For Two Thousand Seventeen

Show us our truest words, our truest sense of being. There are so many words. They swarm like dark bugs, coalesce into storm clouds above the ridge, become rain, form small rivulets that dribble and braid and disappear into dry earth.

Show us the ridge top. The music of enduring water rises from the canyon. But the song is not for drinking, cannot be carried in a cup to everything we love. We must step down from that sunlit place, descend into the cracked heart of the mountains. At the very bottom, touch the oldest stones, feel their grit in the valleys of our fingerprints. Stare into the virgin pool never kissed by sun, and know the milky water resting there has churned through sunlit rills, dissolved the sandstone bones of the mountains, our bones, water that carries bubbles of fern breath, food for blood-filled gills of quick dark trout and quietly dying salmon.

Show us this, our deepest place. We can drink. We can fill our cups and climb.