Why, after so many years, is she with me now?
We who were not close in life
walk among the caribou lichen

whose coral-like low forms, white against the mosses
and wild blueberry in its red phase,
seem to give off light.

She has escaped
through the window of the body’s house of harm
into the freedom of a truth that will never be recognised.

And indeed they do give off light, fungi and algae
in a collaboration that obscures
the individual collaborators

who’ve taken it entirely off-spectrum,
reflecting every wavelength and phosphorescing under the UV
intensely where appearing most delicate

as though, as has been written, the best metaphor for stillness
is constant motion. Out of weakness
are made strong, I guess.

A cold-hardy, slow-growing, clean-air species.
The fog makes surprising
what it does not conceal, and what is concealed reminds us

that an excess of surprise should be avoided, if one can help it.
Listen to the sea, she says,
surprising again and again the rock of the shore.

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