Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Notes from a Phone Call

Is it official? Can we grieve?
Or do we wait for the doctors
To connect enough markers
To give the news they like least?

The first thought is of others, always,
When one becomes oneself, alone only.

She chose the things to test
Like a scholar collects antitheses,
But no one wants to give her the diagnosis –
The gun is passed after each discharge,
The bullet she placed there waiting still.

The depth charges come from the invisible distance
-- You can hear them
Before falling
Through the skies.

When there’s so little time
There is finally time for things inconceivable.
So much comes in now to be swallowed.
Do I let the somnolent river
Have its way with me?

It’s a brand-new world
At the end of the day;
We stand nervously between,
Hoping for a hand
From any side.

More tests! More tests!
There are antidotes to the terror,
Calm voices behind numbers,
But the eyes cut through the cool room
Like a flame.

A future of wheelchair lifts and straws
Fills itself in 
Like the outlines of a fevered dream
As if drawing a new reality.
Or are these scenes as empty and unresponsive
As the deals one can’t help but make?

It drifts uneasily to normalcy.
Distractions are like spies
Tracking our time.
What else should we do 
But waste it?

Life must go on, so we weed,
Harvest pumpkins, squash, potatoes,
Tomatoes, lettuce, berries,
Cucumber, grapes, swiss chard …
Only to be faced with the stare of dry beds.
Oh to be able to plant … something.

Brazil nuts, ashwagandha, pine needle tea …
Such details temporarily forestall
The enormity of being.

The pills that were for this
Must be replaced by those for that
Though no one really knows
If it’s this or that
That is really wrong, 
But it’s up to us to believe that there's a cure.
Our hope stains every cup.

A good night! A good night!
Everything will change
For as long as the will allows,
At the thought of progress,
Some permission to hope.

Exercises – hope – new postures – hope –
The only thing that seems to really exist
In this world.

A new sound late at night –
A note of labor
In the endless, easy flow.

Hope: the tiniest sliver of moon.

I’ve spent my life
Chasing the impermanent
As if my life depended on it.
Now I wait
For everything perishable
To fade.