How much do I wish to know
About the world?
I was once a king,
many times a king,
and the world laughed sadly with me.
Offered the solitary hut of a hermit,
the mantle of a priest,
the spear of a hunter wandering mountains.
But it was a secret this kingship thing,
the flowered crown,
plumes and feathers,
teeth and bits of copper strung on string.
I was a king
because I wanted to be king,
not because of the world,
but for it,
a thread of noble obligation.
My soul was solitary,
a bowl of emptiness,
a shell left waterless on the shore.
So I determined that to possess nothing,
move without harm,
and do no destruction,
I would sleep on the great cliff.
Wear a ruler’s ring,
and be king in some indefinite void
until I could be a child.
Be born with nothing,
and remember to hear other voices,
and leave the scepter frozen in stone,
an object of awe to a paleontologist,
who discovers footprints from the sea,
and knows where they’re going