Each day, your name moves down the list a little.
Dying is a hurried business and it’s best not to hang
for too long at the top. The names look crisp, struck
in finer inks than are used to sell cars and hawk yard
sales. How do our printed lives fit so neatly in layout
columns set aside for death than they ever did in life?
Days resume to food and fuss, familiar burdens we slog
and bear from one dawn to the next, willingly and not,
one step and another, the tulips opening and closing,
the tides hurling themselves like boomerangs around
the world, mountains disintegrating one grain of rain
at a time, the moon inching ever away, year after year.
We are taken each by the day that takes us, by paths
we choose to lose ourselves upon. We are no different
than anyone who came this way before us, who conspired
to consort and set fragile stones whereby we might retrace
their steps to our beginning, who by luck of late tides and
fortune of early wanderers happened on us there abandoned.
Those of us who remain will keep this place until we
relent, until we give over all we hold for the time we
hold it so that others may take up our cause beneath
a brighter sun, dimmer stars whirring above them,
kisses they must spend or lose forever, the extracting
of all they can take from the giving to what must come.