Monday, September 10, 2012

externality

Before the counting is over, the share is always more than yours. One bird kept, one counted, until the bird in hand no longer seems enough. Why not each and every bush that offers shelter? Why not every bird in the sky, now that claims are getting made? It isn’t that our nature is all that bad. We are cruel and we are greedy. The trouble with counting is that there is always more. Outside our sight, or minds scarcely venture. The kiss, the star, the fish that eludes the catch. A head full of figures, we miss more than we measure. The cluttered constellations reckoned for our crown.

We only live in the feast of the moment. We only feel the crest of the wave. Riding so high we all stand in the stirrups. Running so wild we can hardly ever meet any eye. We will know the wounds of famine, going over every step and stumble. We will know the weight of every hoof, trampled inevitably to the ground.  We count, or we don’t, and we fill out what ledgers are left. It is a matter, or it is not yet, the reckoning never settles at enough. You never know what tomorrow might bring, you never know when this fortune will fail you. With everything so uncertain, be certain what you want.

It always ends up coming down to genies, that magic condensing of motive and means, language only wilder once it is loosed. Those riddles and incantations, the clockwork stricture of these equations, that machine with nothing better to do than call down the gods. The shorthand scribbled into shortcuts, the word mistaken for the way. Our abrupt economies so scripted and unreal, numbers among the most imaginary of all the ghost. The glanced at average out with the imagined. Stolen kisses always returned in legions, drops in the ocean, sand upon the shore. The inference only a little closer, the blessing of limits never known. It escapes our calculation, absence of that which never was an absence all the same.

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