The Myth of Self-Sustainment

It’s not that life lived alone, in solitude, could bring no grace.
But in every dream I have of the end (or versions of the end), 

always there are multitudes massed on broken highways, 
trekking through sandstorms or huddled together in a field. 

Wherever they were from, they only know they can’t go back. 
Days and nights are cinematic with signs and wonders— 

a bear’s pelt at the edge of a wood, as if the animal had merely 
stepped clean out of a sleek jumpsuit; small bones linked together 

like hands. Cricket and stag beetle mandibles like masks 
discarded after a costume ball. And everywhere, notched 

shadows on stone and iron marking the last fire, last flood. 
I used to think I wouldn’t mind finishing out the days 

tending my own quiet. But now I know I’d want to feel 
something pressing back against my touch, saying I’m here. 


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