Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Life Granted

He’s a fetus on a couch: drinking coffee,
waiting for the newspaper, hoping the Top Story
says he’ll grow, stand up, walk away from these
dusty shelves, recycled sunlight, yellow-worn poems.

Shouldn’t wait for an obvious sign. Should
seize this gloomy day: lay tracks around:
new train, out of town, all directions going
but down, down, never down.

Cat at the clock
Time full of rats
Clock explodes, rats exposed
What happens next?

He smashes flies against the lamp lit wall, his caricature
manifested by an enlarged, swampy shadow-fall.
Twists the sides of his fists until nothing remains,
just lifeless nightmares on sticky chains.

Silence. All he can think of is Lon Chaney as
The Hunchback, the monster. The silent film’s sound
like the end of a record, a leaving behind of the familiar—
a world filled with the hiss of irritated snakes.

Then a yellow maple leaf whips and sticks to the window.
The sun warms its back with a ray. He cannot turn away
though he tries, he tries, he tries.
And it says without a voice:

Winter comes but will come to an end.
A life granted means death in life, my friend.
A baby won’t die if it opens its eyes.
It’s in love with the world despite its cries.

(From the book Kairos)

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