Among the steady morning fireflies
he strode, long metallic strides
past no imagined tent or tree,
toward no painted picket frontier;
a solitary nomad of the void
bound by formless cosmic restlessness,
treading the dead distances
of a three-dimensioned wilderness
bound to emptiness.
At times he paused,
folded his lurid young wings
and mused: If this be morning, he said,
where is evening?
Yet he knew, or felt, the morning;
the whole universe felt the chill
and thrill of morning, and he sang aloud
a song, but his song was a mirage of music:
it did not disturb the spacious silence.
A silent firefly beckoned motionless.
He followed her. She receded and still
he followed, leaning against ethereal wind
eagerly to learn her secret
and the secret of the morning.
Older now, he paused
but once to fold his fading wings
and mused: If the universe, he said,
be a Klein bottle filled with black ink,
why don’t the fireflies drown?
She stopped, hovering over
a blue glow, a hazy swirling.
He came nearer and it focused
into a lively vision of water and cloud
and a misty sphere of tree and sky;
nearer still he found a place
and peered between the bright green leaves
and saw with open eyes the first maiden and the first boy,
and then he heard the angels sing
the joyful song
of the first Sabbath.
Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, 1982