It stands, cavernous;
like the maw of some prehistoric beast
rocky gums encroaching around the blinding sky.
Above, a bird rides a current on precipice,
hovering for a suspended second,
then, an imperceptible shift,
dives into the crevice –
through layers on layers of sediments
mutated, mutilated, by the weight of themselves,
squeezed of their minerals,
lithified, oxidized, diagenized, cemented
in place, where they fell all those eons ago.
Silurian, Devonian, Cenomanian.
Ages fly by in the space of a breath as
the bird dives towards the rocky bottom,
skirts the basement, feints,
up past red graffiti, tourists and vendors
carved into the skin of the rock,
promises of eternity:
Always low prices! and Anne et Javier pour toujours,
continues its path along the river, which once
gushed triumphant, whittled the great gorge itself,
crafting each individual stone.
Now, the river trickles; the gorge
has swallowed it-
as it will swallow us, you, me, Anne, Javier,
and one day, long afterwards, even
itself: returning to the thing that formed it.