The Gospel of Heraclitus


“The Gospel of Heraclitus”


A fire. A river.

I must tell you this.


An angel in a waterfall,

falling or flying into the unbroken white light

of the future below, eyes fixed forever

on the dancing fish and flowers reflecting

in the rapids above that only ever crash.

Here is the news.


Beyond the cage of bones and fluttering of breaths and their interpretation,

a woman’s chest laid bare by X-ray or other vision

flutters larkspur wings for lungs.

The difficulty of weighing butterflies in flight

implies the perks of displacement—

the fluttery thing weighting the water of the body

to show what lives and dies in the soul.


The butterfly lung lobes of the within

that can only be seen without being seen

and are born of holding all things without judgment

fly out of the chest of dying fear, anger, and shame.

Here it is.


The defeated woman who lies down in the muddy reeds of the world

and dies forever that we might live

holds in her butterfly lungs all knowledge.

You cannot touch her with the mind, or pin her with wire—

you’ll break her. Only know her in your body.

From despair to experiment and back again, changed.

Every river of despair is different, and every self in it.

But I know something wonderful. Listen.


There is one idea, but like light it has two forms.

The linear particle—its line on the map showing the river’s home—

and the water’s chaotic wave. Chaos is a butterfly who leaves

her cage of chest by looking into the four faces of darkness,

flying into the wind, changing and being changed

by the currents of that flowing river reflecting the light-crossed clouds,

touching first one point and then another with the same, sparkling color—

the light of the sociality of dreams that touches all things.


As for the body of that woman.

What is left of her when the butterfly has dropped its weight,

stirring a storm from Paradise and making a beautiful, cosmic mess?

Although her dust never completely scatters

and the crow sings forever over her bones,

still she cries out of the opening cocoon of her mouth

a wordless, wild, and bleeding fire, offered first in desperation,

then in hunger to hear what it might have to feed her,

and at last out of love and without attachment.

Honor me, she says to the world. Eat it. Or don’t. And walks away.


In the fire’s face, a fox that is the forest, its trees and roots.

A wild darkness growing up from under the branches of being.

All things will perish in this fire.

All things behind the light of this place

remain the same—no time, space, flaw or isolated facet of the universal face.

I have never felt such peace in my soul.