Fourth Form

Given up the crown
the gift remains

a sundering, a fold
of robes and riches
turned inward like a blade

a geode’s
cut light.

If you could fathom rising
through the steam of an ox throat
cut in winter

you might know the heat and arc of fury,
then stillness pursuing
like the glacier hearts of herons.

But you do not know

for the mind cannot follow this,
where the body has gone.

Having been touched,
you may not return the form
once carried.

Though from time to time
you can bury your hands in the earth
and empty yourself
like a star, burning.

Stephanie Rose Adams is the author of The Sundering. Her work has appeared in the Boston Review and other publications.