Late in the Day

Late in the day we expected the day
to have no history and thus unhinged
we’d find true home someplace we’d never been—
there it was: clear shining space
in which we had new being because our
being had been excised till suddenly old
pain recalled old injury and we sensed
the phantom tail we dragged through those old worlds
we thought ourselves free of, then even the
memory of it encumbered all direction
till we faced forward only by default, how
we still felt the way we’d roared the burden
of it, the suffering of the finer selves
we’d finally become, when what we’d left
was all that was left, meager water holes,
dense foliage, volcanoes, steely sky.