The world is smaller in the grave of my past,
all the knowledge I will never have
neglected like pagan parchment.

Soon these dots of slate and blue-red
will coalesce into shape and implication,
forming judgment, self-regard, and impulse.

Nothing will be the same. The comforts of
solitude will dissolve, replaced by paradox:
in the cradle of love, fear;

in the face of beauty, time; amid ugliness, grace.
How we misunderstand, once sheared
from macrophage and fibroblast, the meaning of intimate.

In my many days to come there will be
fetes and functions, loss and laughter on an
endless carousel of human living,

yet won’t I always long for this moment,
just before my world’s uprooting —
my last dependent breath


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First published in Open Road Review, 2017