Sierra Nevada Koan

Dark streaks in the granite - 
Are they restitution 
For wounds gouged in the rock 
By Central Pacific, or rather, 
By Chinese workers 
Who died 
That the rails might be one, 
To span a continent 
On which they'd just arrived? 

Was it the speckled peaks 
Or the people 
Who peeled open their skin 
To get at the sweet juice 
Of bliss, to taste the spicy meat 
Of euphoria 
And make love to life? 

              -Richard Hacken