Friday, January 11, 2013

One Sand Grain of 6.5 Billion

I wonder too much in the morning,
alone at breakfast with the sun coming in.
I wonder as I drive. I am never in the fast lane.
I wonder at work, taunting deadlines
every time I turn my chair to the window.
I wonder mostly at night, and most wondrously there:
Often I walk beyond the city lights,
crack some beers, throw down a blanket.
And with my back to the earth I stare, straight up,
to as far as I can reach…
Thoughts morph into moths, land around puddles of questions:
Potent, energized questions that the moths roll their tongues over.
Each one drinks, each one fills with a question.
Then off they go, quick as lightning, zipping back
and forth across my head , bouncing off my skull
with mind-aching determination.
The questions know no answers exist here,
so they break through my eyes like bats from a cave.
Up they go, zigzagging their way to the great mystery,
the thing that holds this cloudy blue marble in its black grip.
How they get past Earth’s gravity is a wonder in itself.
But they do, and they go and go,
and they leave me all alone with my impatience.
How fast do they travel? How fast does an answer answer back?
This concerns me. I mean, I could tell myself
that one plus one is two—that is quick—
but at one time that question was brand new.
The answer came slower. One had to be sure.
Sadly, I know that my questions
will never come back with their answers.
Perhaps a black hole gets them,
or they’re vaporized by the creator of the universe,
the entity that has caused [Holy War] between [Great Apes].
No, my questions will remain unanswered.
I am just a human being and the answers are something different.
With that, I rise. My brain now a single grain
dead center in the smoky air of my skull.
I shake the blanket, watch the loose grass take air.
The night sky carries on as it always has, as it always will.
The moonlight lands in my hair
and I walk home in silence, kicking stones.

First published in The Interzone Poets 3 (2006)

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