Before my

name, or my

parents’ names,

before the

parents or

places where

countless name-

less firsts were

born, where they

farmed, hunted,

gathered in

tribes, bands, clans,



the old one


the nameless


His branch has

no known name,

the tree has

no known name.

He thinks: I

shall climb down

so the song

may begin.

After the

first naming,


rushed to fill

every wild

space. Many


were anni-


Some remain—

the primal

lithe body,

and the trunk

of his tree,

my body

and the walls

of my home—

for instance.

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