People eventually know — as I know —
this flaxen gift of life will slip.
The spindly legs of a sick child or the
bony, veined hands of old women
remind us of breaking.
But also that living moves when Gaia speaks.
On a Sunday morning, fresh blooms
go on an old grave where new tears fall.
But the grief dwindles hours later
against the slope of a partner’s body.
Fingers arched, someone peels a layer off.
And the citrus hangs like summer air.
But it is not the fruit, or the granite tombstone, or the baby’s footprint, that prove
the avenues between birth and the end.
Nothing points, for certain, to how the highs will lift us and the lows will make us bow.
It is shown in how and why and when we love.
People say these kinds of things when they fold: “Sorry”; “I will never sort out what it was, or why we were given this fate”;
“Leave me alone”; or “Why did I ever trust my tender heart near your lying one?”
But the words come and go, as hours do too.
In the journey — edged between humanity’s carmine horrors and the brilliant wonders
of this spinning orb on which we either fester or grow — we make a pact to protect those we love, and then often we fail in doing so.
We sequester the mind’s calculations.
We become scholars or deniers of it all (our dreams either go or stay), becoming a part of stories that sometimes seem like they have
been fiercely spit from other centuries, but they arrive fresh for today’s journeyers.
So we listen, but we also muffle the truths.
Most — from the hope of the youthfulness
of love as intoxicating as warm brandy
to the old men swallowing pills and leaning into rolling chairs — all know moments move on, but still gamble for those fixed seconds.
This is the knowing that eclipses everything.
There is not a one of us who forgets the trip is as pure as soft, lily-white skin at times, or as hard as a deeply thrust dagger at others.
We love through our voices and eyes and minds long before our embered bodies meet or fade.
And we learn that this is part of the journey.