In the end we’ll all become
a life once lived, a lifetime;
a timed life.
Start marking mine with the nights clung
to the bedroom door of my first home. The chink
of mute TV rays seeping right to my feet, star-bright.
Ears pressed to fit the crescent of the keyhole
to collect, bury my parents’ worries, someplace forgotten
not effaced - like in the attic on our fourth floor,
were we to ever have one.
Mother’s sorrow muffled as she breathes onto glass.
The tough, sighing weight of Father’s dismantled hopes
burgeoning from his tailbone to the dead beads on his neck;
his apnea, a plea
Also, include those seldom afternoons when
I thought myself enough to cook a breakfast for one;
days devoted in studying the steadfastness
of our mango tree, to feel still rich in time;
the weeks taken to unlearn the vast vacuum that emerges
after some lover left, only to remember again;
and the months it took for my hips to expand,
hold soft the permission to be held.
Appraise it with the remaining wisdom of my hair
after it’s been conned by a multitude of consumerisms;
a decaying plethora of flyers received out of obligation;
thousand matches gone unlit, unnoticed
beneath ‘collector’ matchboxes, and the chaos
of unformed opinion scattered across my journal,
which be assured will lie unguarded once I’m gone -
what about poems that bled me out, yet not dry,
when I felt I had nothing left to give, and strangers
who took liberties to weld meaning with words?
I refuse to be timed
by stele or stone,
or to be contained
in an urn of ash;
what is a life,
if not passing through?
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