Wrinkles creeping on a dog-eared soul,
the dust of time collects behind my ears-
dusts my eyebrows with furrows-
transforms me from the inside out,
until I barely recognize the old geezer in the mirror…
This current age, its digital fingers sticky yet
Slipping easily past our solitude’s security,
Makes reluctant, unknowable poets of us all.
So it passes that squared up against the midnight hour
Stabbing at my hotel’s branded pad,
Ballpoint quill implicating my inky hand,
I start of a sudden when it occurs to me brother,
I haven’t a single image of your sister long-dead,
In my head or otherwise, with which I can
Measure my own passing time…
So what then? Do we make our own images
to wake the dead to our living eyes?
Mold words to evoke the vanished vision?
Build an alter to the disappeared
from scraps of memory:
a familiar smile, a glint in the eye, a certain resonant smell
to reinvent the absent love?
Could you ever erase that image
interred forever in your heart?…
No, but not thankfully no, for we know what we know
and we avert our eyes to the plain old fact anyway:
that we ourselves are ghosts
alive in the future-tense only theoretically
and bound as we are by senses, thoughts, feelings
and a familiar mass of meat and bone — in this moment.
Don’t we just carry on doing the same old small chores?
Every day we carpenters raising high the roof beams against
complete entropic collapse.
Every day, every hour, every minute of the day.
oblivion is inescapable. All things ultimately so run.
So follow me ghosts! We dance up a hill where we’ll all
end up as missing persons in the hearts of the ones who loved us well
despite all that went wrong eventually.
(11- 26- 11)
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED