January 25, 2017
The Scene of Instruction

You ask: “Where is the scene of instruction?”
Then I set sail, in tears, to the one coast
unvisited. “Where is it?” “In this mist.”

So we put in ashore, but moor the prows
seaward – as if there could be departure
from this place of departure. . . and return.

Anchors, with relentless teeth, grip the shore.
The sterns of the ships adorn the beach like
ornaments, let’s say, a woman’s jewels.

Onto this western shore, the adolescent crew
bursts from confinement. Some point out
fresh water. Some look for flint to make fire.

Others ruin the woods, hunting for game.
But I’m a pious man. The first thing I do
is climb the mountain with two summits,

on one of which is a precinct of Apollo.
He looks westward, his back to the east;
his temple’s carved in stone by human hands.

There is also a cavern sacred to Trivia,
goddess of three roads that meet. In her cavern
we lay – out of the weather – our instruments,

the means of instruction: safe here from
depredation of the elements. Also, safe
from the carelessness of memory, ready for use.

Now let’s see the world for the first time.
Now we can, you and I, begin. . . .
This is the scene of instruction at last.

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