YOU CAN AIM YOUR SHINING BUT BETTER TO BURN LIKE A STAR
You can aim your shining but better to burn like a star.
A calm continuous explosion. Just like the Big Bang
before dark energy entered the scene
and things started to get interesting
as they accelerated. Space grows.
More light years between stars
until the last firefly goes out like a nightwatchman.
Everything’s like that, people, love affairs, gardens
at the end of summer, suicides, girls
that have never worn purple before, wisdom
and the love of knowledge, honour in a life of crime,
flying carpets that never made it any further than the windows,
fruit trees, the eyes of luck fixed on a starmap of dice.
Everything’s evaporating into a breathless abyss.
One day every cell in my body is going to feel
like the lone survivor of a homeless colony on the moon.
The trees, the birds, the stars, everything will have
transcended itself spontaneously including
any heaven, afterlife or reincarnation,
or even long oblivious eras lost among the molecules,
you might have planned on as a pit stop along the way
gone with nobody left to know it.
Especially when I’m down by the river at night
in the early fall, and the air is pungent with duff
after a rain that really messed up bookbinding the leaves
and the stars are moving to their winter grazing grounds,
I feel it more than think it like a deep wound in my heart
this inclusive sadness for everything that has ever been
or is and yet to be. And I want justice now
for generations that have yet to be born
and though it’s as elusively numinous
as trying to make out what constellation
the fireflies are trying to shape out of the valley fog
after a lightning storm has just passed over
and everything is as clean and disordered
as the dishevelled bouquets of the wildflowers
beside the singing ditches and in the vetch bound fields,
it seems like a desecration to have arrayed
all this beauty, these woods, my eyes, Arcturus and Aldebaran,
even the anti-mystic details of the history of war
we keep a record of to consider ourselves civilized,
and all the hurt, the sorrows, the disappointments, the sacrifices
and even in the way we born to love each other like appetites,
all that and more reaching out to attain the unattainable
and then the startling realization, like a mirror
recognizing its own twin in a crowd of unrelated reflections
you are the abandoned crocodile that grew up
in a slum of radioactive slurry, and at this time of year,
when the wild grapevines are ripening like shepherd moons
with life-sustaining seas under methane ice-caps
and dusty mauve cataracts, without an eyelash of distinction
you are the wine that life is intoxicated upon
and extinction is a kind of trance we go into when it’s time to sober up.