It stands, cavernous;

like the maw of some prehistoric beast

rocky gums encroaching around the blinding sky.

Above, a bird rides a current on precipice,

hovering for a suspended second,

then, an imperceptible shift,

dives into the crevice –

through layers on layers of sediments

mutated, mutilated, by the weight of themselves,

squeezed of their minerals,

lithified, oxidized, diagenized, cemented

in place, where they fell all those eons ago.

Silurian, Devonian, Cenomanian.

Ages fly by in the space of a breath as

the bird dives towards the rocky bottom,

skirts the basement, feints,

up past red graffiti, tourists and vendors

carved into the skin of the rock,

promises of eternity:

Always low prices! and Anne et Javier pour toujours,

continues its path along the river, which once

gushed triumphant, whittled the great gorge itself,

crafting each individual stone.

Now, the river trickles; the gorge

has swallowed it-

as it will swallow us, you, me, Anne, Javier,

and one day, long afterwards, even

itself: returning to the thing that formed it.