Before Descending Bryce Canyon

While we stood at the edge of Bryce Canyon
and looked down into the castled spires
populating the earth’s scar-like cavity,
I realized how our interpretations
differed: How you had already leapt (in noe
drawn breath) into the maze of your desire,
into this twisted validation, this city
of barren streets going nowhere, the sum

of your “lostness” mixing with the Eternal
in its fossilized state. And I dared not
stir you as I found Hegel’s rare promise
of the returning self, as I dreamed the Will
(the decaying Will) grown over, and the ox
of Fate dragging our pain over the sand’s red kiss.

Barry Ballard