Worldling

In a world of souls, I set out to find them.
They who first must find each other,
be each other's fate.
There, on the open road,
I gazed into each traveler's face.
Is it you? I would ask.
Are you the ones?
No, no, they said, or nothing at all.

How many cottages did I pass,
each with a mother, a father,
a firstborn, newly swaddled, crying;
or sitting in its little chair,
dipping a fat wooden spoon
into a steaming bowl,
its mother singing it a foolish song,
One, one, a lily's my care . . .

Through seasons I searched,
through years I can't remember,
reading the lichens and stones
as if one were marked
with my name, my face, my form.
By night and day I searched,
never sleeping, not wanting to fail,
not wanting to simply be a star.

Finally in a town like any other town,
in a house foursquare and shining,
its door wide open to the moon,
did I find them.

There, at the top of the winding stairs,
asleep in the big bed,
the sheets thrown off, curled
like question marks into each other's arms.

Past memory, I beheld them,
naked, their bodies without flaw.
It is I, I whispered.
I, the nameless one.
And my parents, spent by the dream
of creation, slept on.

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