Last chapter, last verse—
everything’s brown now in the golden field.
The threshing floor of the past is past.
The Overmountain men of the future
lie cusped in their little boxes.
The sun backs down, over the ridgeline, at 5 after 7.

The landscape puts on its black mask
and settles into its sleeplessness.
The fish will transpose it,
half for themselves, half for the water
Ten thousand miles away, at the end of the darkening stream.
To live a pure life, to live a true life,
is to live the life of an insect.