In a dark, wood-paneled studio, I’ve sat
for three full days, an eremite with neither
cup nor cause. As hours accumulate,
I watch my thoughts return to one conjecture:
the endgame that is neither lost nor won,
but brings itself to bear on every creature
with rules we never could quite settle on.
Instead we love, and say that it’s enough,
each day approaching the meridian
which marks, invisibly, our turn from life
toward that lacuna of imagination.
We toil like pilgrims up a mortal bluff
that has no view, but is our final station.
Nicholas Friedman is a Jones Lecturer at Stanford University. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife.