Between stability and the acknowledgement of the soul

They are mountains, roads, well-dressed, and inscribed at their boundaries.
They are restrained by the sky, in front, above.
They are there for hours: traveling the routes out ahead, tumbling down behind.

[If this body can be (traversed) (climbed over), then it has moved
beyond mere thing-hood to converse with the birds. The soul
lives on a plateau just as the sun crowns its own pyramid of light.
Beyond that (the tortured giant, its tendons, its fingernails, its fierce
feet) an animal too, firm and fat and admiring of its surroundings.]

The animal wants a long life, the animal wants to live for a thousand years.
And can’t help but point out your negative prediction, against stars,
against light and filament, that everything—all—that reproduces is mutation.

Genevieve Kaplan is the author of (aviary) (Veliz Books, 2020) and In the ice house (Red Hen, 2011), winner of the A Room of Her Own Foundation’s poetry publication prize. She lives in southern California.