Examining the Phytolith

I saw the ghost of you
nestled within your particular,
who moved among thousands
of thousands of thousands of thousands
in the way that plainlands of grass hide a witness inside

When I first learned you existed
I was reminded how some of us contain
an unborn twin’s tooth in our lining
& this your being seemed to me,
though now I know you are more

a fragment of silica so small as to be particle,
bite of white thread,
caught in daguerreotype mid-wave,
not surrender, but depletion
& therefore, an age-old story

but also a kind of long undetectable,
arrived from a previous downplunge
& now, in ascent, decanting the very earth

I have not been taking what is needed
(becoming smaller, flatter)
I am astonished there is a thing that does only that
—devours—& its particular is unharmed

Little monument, you are
the modified & derived, consequent,
consequence, forgive
all these words; I am trying
to measure something like hereafter

How you remain
& elude—like dirt after rain, a speck of sweet bone,
the tumult of root & tangle, oh

cleft that is left, inspected
for form, for secrets, still
at the end, expelled
from dark & not
the dark