In a gap between the wind and the light
on the grasslands a jaguar
appears with all his liquid muscles
flowing underneath a coat
of spotted fire.
He is a reflection
without water to carry it.
When he leaps he is so fast he passes
through the beholder’s eye
and lands in the mind
where his image claws a way
to a refuge. He is safe in a person’s memory,
wild among the rocks
and in the shadows there
where time and water run in the same
arroyos, and where walls sink
into the land as quickly as they are built
along borders intended
to keep people apart. A jaguar’s memory
is beyond the reach of anyone;
it is a wilderness
of scents only he can receive.
It is what we imagine when we imagine truth
and cannot find a human word for it.
David Chorlton, Arizona, USA