Thursday, April 21, 2011

Please don't die

My mother gave me, wrapped for my birthday, that short book,
The Awakening. More like The Going to Sleep Forever--it
romanticized drowning. I lived forever by the ocean, never
sufficiently afraid of the the great monster of waves and saltwater.
Oh, what the moon's pull and the weight of water can do to you.

I used to dream that on the other side of the horizon, if I could bounce
across the glinting surface like a skipping stone or a big balloon,
a land of light, a kind of heaven, a new awakening was waiting
on that distant shore. Except it wasn't a shore, but a giant
bowl of shine. And all who traveled there, turned into weightless
forms of joy. This old thought died up in the mountains surrounded

by dirt and rot. Yes, sometimes life is so much pain, one will risk
whatever's after for at least momentary quiet, during that period of in-between.
No longer alive, not quite dead. There was a young man in our town
who needed out, who climbed, and then hung himself like a flag on a metal
tower north of town. But because we cannot know what comes after
her limbs give out and she lets the water heavy her down, one must fight

life's dark, and reach for light--a dance, a slice of peach. Oh,
today I wondered if my quiet phone meant my love left earth,
quite by accident. In my mind, he took his board out on the sea,
and was swallowed away from me. Waves are the largest arms
I've seen. The quiet safety many of us crave and leave this land
for can really be had wrapped in the smaller cylinder of a fellow
human's warm limbs and a blanket of insistent love.

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