The walrus ivory is stained dark
from long burial in the earth.
It will never be white again.

The animal face catalyzes
spirits deep within us.

Shadows come alive,
and a night-veiled girl
dances in a circle of light.
Like smoke above a fire,
she sways and dissolves.

Wisdom is in the knot
threaded through the mask,
the braided tassel trembling
on its own, without a touch
of hand or air.