The Individual Lie

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Someone has already been here

Always, even if you are still

Unaware of her presence.

You are never alone, even

When you are alone, in awe

On a mountain cliff’s edge.

Someone has been here—

Even if only in imagination

Someone has been where you go.

Everyone you have met—

Everyone you have read—

Everyone, even the slightest touch

Has always already existed

Inside you now, and forever.

 

(October 26, 2018)

 

Only Traces Remain

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The sadness in the open rose

falls like petals to the path,

while you are somewhere else,

and I am nowhere near.

I hold on to the shreds

as a cicada’s husk

to a tree still clings

to a life not its own.

All maps are tattered

to an unstable memory–

which forms and reforms

until a landscape adheres.

Slowly I have fallen onto

a shapeless and empty road.

 

(September 15, 2018)

 

Birdsong

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“All life is a foreign country”

–Jack Kerouac

 

All my life my tongue

could not curl about

the words spoken here—

my teeth cut my cheek

as I stumbled over

simple words, simple ideas.

I was silenced in simple

misunderstandings, in fear

of the wrong word spoken

too loudly, too softly,

or not at all.

I wish I were

a mockingbird able

to flit between the leaves

singing the song of others;

to speak earnestly around

the mundane bits of life

we share, like now, or mimic

an old man’s nod of greeting,

or children’s laughter outside

this window; or to simply cross

over the border to a home.

 

(September 1, 2018)