From a Short Distance
At the start of the year no one could say
what would be found in that stretch
through spring, the tearing away of time,
as loss does not segment itself like a worm
to grow back into wholeness somewhere
in another life. No one chooses the image
that remains, the year a heap of seconds,
or which day will crystallize into all days,
the crucible for an alchemy of brothers.
I heard you were back in on my way north,
the bike running through open desert like
a knife, my life built on that kind of thing.
But I turned south, shifted down to meet
the coastal rains, ran for two days, and
was carried only into the next moment.
What was left to do was nothing really,
the deck of the boat needed oiling, the
ducks out back feeding, your sons
needed another year or two. But you and I
were more often at the head of the storm,
your father’s second wife, my mother’s
second husband, two teenage sons
similarly different, lightyears apart but
through a space that was curved the same.
What we want and what we find are two
different worlds, and you lived well in both.
The sea was on hold, sliding along beside
the crash of things, that noise seemed so
unnatural then, a sound like total destruction.
The needle read out at eighty and I moved
across a membrane of time that separates
the living and the dying, that last-minute
consciousness of having been, and the one
that still pretends the world will wait forever.
It didn’t, and yet our thread was already spliced
in a way that separate seconds did not matter.
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