We must remember as we bravely parachute
to our final landing place to make the most
of all the lasts – a last meal to energize
our breaking body, last words to inspire
those not jumping though clouds, last visits
with passing specters sharing last goodbyes.
A death bed is just one last stage, one final
curtain call before an audience left wanting
more, grasping at minutes as they dissolve
between clapping fingers. Where does
the time go? Where does anything?
Winds blow in without warning
and dissipate just as quickly. Change
can revitalize whatever breezes
haven’t swept farther down the road.
Our end is an end, one of millions every
day that taste salty on pursed lips
aching under the weight of uncertainty.
I will not waste mine. With my last
dying kiss, I’ll noiselessly thank you
Somewhere beneath the waters
of another dream washing the day off
I slumber through the dark, uncertain night.
What is life but a series
of best guesses, sailors choosing a course
without stars guiding them? We swim,
arms flailing, struggling to keep our heads
above the salty tides pulling us
somewhere – better?
With the sun I’ll break free of this repose,
swim this way – or that
way – guessing at an island paradise
I can almost see beyond the reach
of my freestyle fingers, stretched straight
like they taught me. I’ll keep kicking,
keep moving, keep ahead
of the currents – but for now I rest
my weary legs, my arms.
We are all connected. The woman
in line at the grocery store
too tired to say no to one more question.
The young man scanning the Skittles
his arm a pendulum absentmindedly marking
time. And me at attention
with the world while my phone
shows zero bars and I long to march on.
We all crave serenity. The woman
thinking of a euphoric cacophony of silence
that a mouthful of candy may bring.
The young man clocked out and finding
ecstasy absent the din of beeps, glorying
in his moment. And me raptured
from this world and returned home
where my wifi vigorously absolves me.
My mother told me it would all be okay,
but I’m inclined to believe that
things were simpler in her
womb, in the dark about the blights
perhaps best left out of the spotlight.
A warm shield from injustice
with the first breath of my origin story,
Mom carefully pulled back the veil
through childhood, slowly acclimating my eyes
to a world waiting to blind me
with harsh truths and cold, naked reality.
Perhaps I’m okay. I don’t know another way
and I’m inclined to believe that
things – though complex – deserve
the light, and I can see clearly
because her hand pointed the way.
I prefer to call deception –
that duplicitous imposter
born of self-aggrandizement
amid seasons of otherwise warm
dispositions – a fraud
whose hazy outline bleeds lies
portend a vague shadow
of a home where earthly browns fade
his intent from the start.
The fox who outfoxes (or do
I mean outguiles?) no one cannot
reach the tree, leaving
with only sour grapes, paws scratched
among the pretense. Thorns stir us
from the artifice,
stubbornly refuse to reflect
in a home where truth fades
and we arrive at the end.