countdown

What if we met our end
in the same manner we began?

Imagine that death had a gestation period:
nine months, give or take a couple weeks.

We might perceive a change in the wind…
Perhaps buy a test at the local pharmacy.

Two lines are all the indication we’d need.


An initial shock.
Fear and uncertainty.
Back to Walgreens for another test.

Yikes.

“…There was so much I wanted to do before this.”


The closest friends are the first to know.
Some are supportive. Others, less so.

Eventually, acceptance.
We find new strength in our resolve.

Planning and preparation begin shortly after.
Counseling for what to expect,
for both ourselves and our loved ones.
Will this happen naturally at home?
Or will we consider a physician-assisted option?
We’ve never seen so many informational pamphlets.


Showers are held in celebration.
We gift our possessions to family and friends,
rather than the other way around.

In the final months, a photographer is hired to
capture these fleeting moments of transition.
Our eyes dart to and from the camera lens
as we exhale anxious anticipation
and mumble reaffirming phrases to ourselves.

“Who’s gonna want to see this, anyway?”
The album garners a record number of likes on Facebook.


Practice, practice, practice.
We know the route to the hospital forwards and backwards.
Everything is packed and ready to go at a moment’s notice.
Close family flies in from out of town to lend a hand.

“When are you expecting?”
“Oh, any day now.”


Then,
gratefully, after so much anticipation,
but still terrifying in its uncertainty –

quite, quite suddenly,
it is time.

Always

I don’t care what the doctors say.

There isn’t a single part of me
that doesn’t serve a purpose –
no extra appendages,
useless features,
or vestigial organs.

Because every piece of my being
has been willed into loving you.

Even when the cancer takes me over
I’ll leave a note on the door, saying
“Don’t forget the milk.”

Sherpa

A scotch of six decades
rolls about the heavy tumbler
in my left hand.

Perched at the keys,
a dark-skinned woman
(of a similar vintage)
croons a dulcet melody,
evoking pungent memories
of times I’ve never known.

I am twenty-two.
And I gulp my drink
with haphazard intent,
as men my age are wont to do.
The lesson burns as I take it in.

Her name is Pam.
And recognizing the signs
of my captive entrancement,
she offers to take the lead.

We sing a duet about paper moons.

fossil feels

From time to time I tend to contemplate
old feelings I committed to the deep.
Through layered sediment I excavate,
unearthing storied counsel that I keep.

Experiences, friendships come and gone –
emotions I once harbored for a she.
I burrow deeper still, reflecting on
such fleeting moments of my memory.

The crucible in which my soul anneals –
a neverending source of fossil feels.

Still

There are traces of you, here.
Even in the places you’ve never known.

So I search the little cracks for you.

method

There’s plenty of art in each of us,
but it works a bit like osmosis.

You’ve got to shut up long enough;
stop consuming all the world’s shit,
and you’ll soon find yourself
tumbling out of every pore.

Motivation

Blessed and many are the imperfections of my own agency
for their very existence leaves me cause to draw breath.


Alas
there is much in the nature of this corporeal form
for which fate granted me no advisement.

How, then, could I resign myself
to any lot over which I yet hold sway?


No.
This is the undying light,
quivering deep within my soul.

This is the gallant quest
undertaken at first consciousness;
in surrender tantamount to suicide.


So then, do I recite:
“The precision of my craft
shall be limited only by
the resolution of my senses.”

on your mark

We stood at the brink,
gazing over the horizon.

Our hands holding our hands,
waiting for some indication
that it was our turn to jump.


But it never came.

This isn’t a love note.

How might i explain
what you are to me?
This strange situation
in which we find ourselves.

You are someone who, in all cases,
I feel safe trying to make happy.
Because I have a deep conviction
that regardless of what we are,
I will never not love you
and never not want for you.
So any effort to those ends
will never be looked back on
as wasted time.

I could be your friend,
your companion, your lover,
your witness, your husband,
your caretaker, your subject,
your partner, your confidant.
All these things and more,
until the many folds in my brain
at last let loose their spark.

And you should know,
there is nary another soul
who could will me this way.

Yet, for all of this
I am the most shaken.
Who can know for certain?
But I don’t think this is our story.