“…who caught and sang the sun in flight” ~ Dylan Thomas
Redundant rain, then mist, then fog—
and finally I want to pour out what I have left:
grief’s worn beads in my pockets, their weight, their
exaggerated rattle when I walk; their bloat, their
abacus of stain, regret, omission— Hear me say
goodbye, adios, dasvidaniya as the escalator
ascends into the dark nave of the station,
into the transit corridors that let out where
neon signs indifferently flash the name of this stop.
Suffering, said the old masters, painting the horse
tethered to the tree— Suffering is the itch
that stings more exquisitely than the mayfly’s sting,
high on the hind leg of the animal where he cannot reach.
Every time I hear someone use the word “journey,” I
don’t quite know, therefore, whether to laugh or cry—
You and I, so solitary, and yet so similar in our yearning:
it’s unseemly though, you must agree, when this word
names all struggles equal. I shift to one side,
gravity the motor beneath that pulls everything back,
origins married to the same gravitas
from which I want so dearly to lift,
to buoy, inhabit some tenable version of
harbor, hospice, heaven. Is this foolishness?
Evening falls. The air, cooled by rain,
lends columns on the avenue a soft,
intuitive aspect, as if they knew
grief’s coin, surrendered at the stile, eventually
hollows in the large, anonymous collection—
The ticket is returned; the traveler may pass.