Wednesday, February 12, 2020

We Fall A Long Way

The earth leans into us, opens and enfolds us, bears us into its hollows like unfortunate toads. Roads unfurl along the river, allowing us to go east and west, but never both at once. When I wake up, it is as if I have been traveling for a thousand years.

Wrens bunch noisily on concrete overhangs near the off ramp, warming themselves in January sun, and I pause to count them. Birth establishes a framework but not an unalterable narrator. The thief steals from the beggar but leaves a gift for the judge's daughter, and in this way a basic injustice is allowed to continue.

A letter arrives, a sense of doom. When we dance we gather angels in our arms and hurl them into the heavens, farther than they could manage with their wings. I don't know how to refer to you now, I don't know where you are in the poem.

Voices in the rear of the theater, complaining. We go up and down the stairs, arms full of clothes we will never wear again. Often when I walk alone through the village, there is a feeling that all that's missing is the feeling that nothing is missing.

To be clever is to miss the fundamental simplicity of love, isn't it. Leaving Worthington was always about going down hills, as entering Vermont was always about admiring certain mountains at a distance. A thinnest wedge of crescent moon, a clock by which we are always counted late.

The halls are slowly cleared of learners and we find ourselves skimming old books nobody bothered to recycle. Grandfather's sweater pocket held coins, lifesavers, a box of matches, a penknife and the stub of a pencil that he used to calculate bets. When we fall, we fall a long way.

We are beyond the writing, beyond synchronicity, we are beyond the claims of excellence we once applied to the soul. This loneliness, this awfulness, this open marriage with the end.

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