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I’ve always wanted to begin a poem
with the line, “I’ve always wanted
to begin.” Now I have. Best to end here,
but then the universe is expanding
back into its black beginnings,
and space, aware of its own looming demise,
is singing of possibilities. I’m almost over, it sings,
it’s almost over and sooner or later we’d be left
with nothing but time. If we live that long.
Sometime before then all our dialects
will have moored on the gray sands of forgetting,
all our sad words will have started
to repeat themselves, as if sound didn’t dissipate
into stillness, as if not everything has been said before.
Here, let me tell you a joke: I am a man of faith.
Or a child, a tree, some living thing
that will someday be a dead thing.
What does faith have to do with it? I know;
it isn’t funny. Nothing funny about mortality,
how movement bleeds into clockwork,
how clockwork succumbs to its own igneous finitude.
How we aid entropy by being born.
See? I only wanted to begin, now I’m humming
the ghost-heavy refrain of imminent endings.
In that song about possibilities, someone
is hurling an empty bottle skyward. I see you:
You’re imagining it slowing towards its peak,
anticipating gravity, its ruthless duty. Stop.
Don’t. Let’s go. Let’s not be around when it shatters.
Let’s not wait for an ending.
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