After watching Werner Herzog’s White Diamond

I have traveled far behind the waterfall, behind its muddy gates,
Climbed through the thick-trunked forest, to the moat around

The white church. I stand at the lip of the moat, toes curled
Over the edge, my wrists wrapped in dark leaves. The swifts

Funnel around me, swirl into the white church as sand
In an hourglass, a cascade behind the cascade. They eddy

Around me as if I were a boulder jutting out in the waterfall.
And still, those men are searching for a glimpse of this, hanging

From their ropes in the deep caves, attaching small silver shackles
To the twig legs of the swifts. Right now their helicopter rises

In the purpling light from amid the dripping canopy,
Water pouring from the cabin. They cannot see the white church

As the swifts thicken around me. They cannot see me through
The cloud of feathers at the edge of the clear, clear sea of the moat.

I have heard that at the center of each swift is a small white rock,
Not in place of their heart, but inside it, or near it,

A small white stone still falling down the deep well they were
Born out of, a small white stone still falling down the black well

They tore out of like smoke from a tight chimney. A small
White stone always falling. And I will be asked

What is beyond this clear, clear moat? What is inside
The simple white church?
There are no windows. Can it

Cure us? There is no bridge. From where I stand at the edge
Of the moat, I can see there is something large and beating

Within the white church, not a heart, but still, something
Large and pumping—I can see the peeling white clapboards

Of the church expanding with each pump as if the large beating
Thing has expanded to fill the white church, is pressed up

Against the walls inside. And still, the birds funnel around me
As I stand at the edge of the moat, channel into the church,

Beating with their entering. I become covered in
The downy residue of the swifts. A fog from the far behind

Waterfall leaks through the big dark leaves that always hold
One drop of water at their tips, about to drip. I sit down

At the edge of the moat, the soles of my feet rest on the surface
Of the water. The fog has become so deep I can no longer see

The white church from where I sit. The smoke of the funneling
Swifts thickens, becomes indistinguishable from the fog.

And is it the waterfall or the roar of their wings? The jungle
Crashes through my chest and collapses into the beating thing.

And if I slipped into the clear, clear moat, wouldn’t it be
A bottomless sinking? And what is happening on the other side

Of the waterfall? What straddling rainbows? And what men
Are at this moment in their canoe at the very lip

Of the waterfall, the nose of their canoe now aiming down,
About to draw a dark line down the long mist?