The Myth of the Fallen

You step on a scale the day you realize not all wounds are yours to bear.

Where the needle lands isn't far different from yesterday or the day before.

Yesterday and the day before, you craved a view of hills overlooking a lake.

A natural lake, not a manmade one; ringed by trees you don't all know 

by name. Hasn't naming been a way to wrest us away from a deeper, 

more immortal sense of time? Name creatures that live on dry land 

and in water; the planets and their moons, the constellations. Name 

creepers, runners, vines, the teeming greenhouse edging forests 

and cratered lands. Name the barrier above and below the horizon, sky—

that's where night and day separate,  as if the right hand doesn't need 

the left, as if there's only the dark left to inhabit after a gate has closed.

Only this, then: let there always be a path to safety clear of border guards.

Let there be places to stop and rest. Let those brought into this life open

their mouths and freely eat what glistens there, because this too is theirs.

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