To harvest the root of fire,

you must pry back your eyelids,

and listen, as the wild cat does,

stomach growling.

You must walk backwards for a thousand miles,

until your boots break,

and your toes peek out like hatchling birds

begging for worms.

You must pull back the skin of water

and make, of it, a cloak.

You must forget yourself –

and make music

from old bones.