There is a mountain sixteen miles high.
Every hundred years a butterfly brushes its wings across the granite face.
When the mountain is ground to dust, that’s how long time is.
Multiplied by ten billion.
An hour after midnight on the twenty-sixth
a crown of light
a blear of tears
my father climbed a fire escape
to the third floor rear
that wasn’t me
years have smeared
the muddy lines of memory
my mother wept
our bodies two
one snip and from the roof I flew
down the Santa Monica Mountains
into the valley dim
not really, really
thus, pitched from the rim
unseated from the peak
I made slow time across a billion-year cheek
Now stopped in place
an eon nigh
the invisible kiss
of a butterfly.
On the anniversary of my birth.