from “For the Lost Cathedral”

     for Stephen Crane

One life, one life, and so the multitudes
return. A secret dies in each
and so returns.

He considered the courage of living
without the secret,
how, for all he knows,

a secret admires that way of being
friends, of opening the palms
of prayer like a boat

exposed to heavy water.
There are days when heaven falls
silent, when the secrecy

does away with the secret.
Always more flowers
in the field than hands

to hold them. Some lie
on the beds of the multitudes.
They are the rivers of the field

ever losing the thing
that bears their name.
They are the small wind

that waves the fallen colors of the many,
the sun-drenched river
of the near to the far,

the joys of the field above our names
ever becoming something
corruptible, nameless, something

else. Praise them.  end