Thursday, September 25, 2014

A Fall

my language has no words
and my culture has no gestures
with which to demonstrate
the intense sincerity of my self-abasement
when I am confronted by your worth
(when I am confronted by my incomplete understanding of your worth)

there is no comparison I can make
to you, the superlative,
except to say inadequately
that you knock the sense from me, like the cement
(pummeled into the lower back muscles of a fallen child
when she slips on the sidewalk)
steals her power to breathe

this love that is more than love
encumbers you, but although I build up
walls for me to slam into, although I weave
nets to catch me, I am locked in orbit


when I was small, I threw myself out of the top bunk
to learn what it felt like to fall
but I could just have waited
to meet you


new and strange to contemplate:
my thoughts are not Myself—
the constant stream of reactions to my experiences
can be my enemy

—can be my tool,
can be irrelevant, is not Me
anymore than my hands are Me
or my memories, or my reflection
or the contradictory set of behaviors
acquaintances lump together and call by my name

and maybe I only exist
in this moment,
maybe in two minutes my body will be made
of a new combination of atoms;
when I pull back, I can no longer see
where I end and You begin, or if
I and the chair are not the same, after all

and maybe I have a soul,
new-created at my conception or as old as Saṃsāra—

—but total nonexistence seems just as likely


There will be a moment
when I don't remember this anymore
when its effects are lost
in the vast complexity of all action
and my mind is empty, or
is full of other things

In this loneliness, this isolation from pre-made meaning
I will find
a kind
of freedom that no other freedoms
the delight
of drowning, suspended, head covered, feet stretched out,
in the seeming infinity
of my own agency

If I dismantle my barbican, overflow
my baileys, I will scrape myself raw,
I will expose myself to a rain of sulfur
but I
will move, after a long wait, I will
move, I will no longer be too large
for my skin