Friday, August 24, 2012

pompeii

Every moment is a mark missed, every moment a step mistook. The sun in my eyes, my feet stepping on shadows until nowhere is the only place to go. The flesh sings of the warmth and the wind, fueled by the shifting tide of breath and blood. It sticks around long enough to ignore all the signs and the warnings. When the end walks on in, it hardly merits credulity, the moment so persuasive that we forget it is the skin of change. The difference never noted, the ache and sigh of existence only here on a visa. The tole and clang of being just a dream of flying kept tight within a leaf lifted by the wind. The soul declaims its empire until the world exclaims its extinction.

How they love to insist we chase our dreams. How they love to proclaim lives lived in the moment. As if the magic of desire was enough of a reason. As if the answer of every prayer did not end the same. Weary bones and ashen faces, imagination our most powerful institution. Our mortal shrines lit with these dreams of forever, though the sad handful of years we have have mostly gotten the better of us. Our blessings spread like our promiscuous blood, the web of ancestry spun and spun. Names given and names taken, hunched shoulders and shadows squished. Rags and bottles and bones, sold for whispers and that lilting song “I wonder.”

Immortality takes forever to prove, but a moment to debunk. The earth rumbles, the sky shifts, the heavens ready their arsenal at random. Salvation a luxury leftover from survival. Respite only evidence that the bullet found another breast to pierce. Matter stalks its likes and druthers, waiting for a break in the explanation, waiting for a gap in the defense. Life and death only cause and effect, horse and cart. Without the one, there is no other. The train arrives at the terminal, every car empty and well lit. The station boils with all manner of intention, never slowing to answer. Moving like a statue made of closed eyes and wishes. Moving like a fire that reveals at once the location and duration of the soul.

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