Loneliness is our constant currency.
No bills, no coins, it circulates
with water underground,
with wind through avenues.
This is human strangeness.
Beings coagulate while staying separate.
Loneliness springs, withers,
and springs against gruff brick,
our separate enclosures with openings
for the hard-to-forget sun
and the more erratic moon,
our guardian alone and shining.
What else to do but await death,
that distinctive, particular one,
your own, my own, not generalized
cessation brought nearer by relatives
and friends feathered to my chest
in their halting, their stop.
In this waiting, a weight un-strapping,
this planet an elaborate waiting room,
puny spaces where to move and occupy,
time such a delirium, a sweet drunk dream
spiked with suffering and declension
but mostly a mundane prodding,
in this waiting,
I greet any meal with a joy,
embrace any stranger cloaked
as a friend with pleasure,
acknowledge a true stranger
with respect and humility,
marvel at snakeskin skies even when
arrayed pelt gray and death black.
New Hampshire bliss,
Rhode Island bliss,
what pray tell could it be?
Pray to the mountains,
pray to shelters,
pray to cement,
pray to the shore,
just pray to the élan vital.
Maybe bliss is food in the larder,
fire for to prepare it,
water for to swill it down.
Maybe it’s a bed not too rocky,
a roof not whistling
from mean winds,
roughs going cotton in sleep.
Maybe it’s black birds,
gray birds cruising to settle
after seeds and happenstance,
such distraction for ear and eye
when I am out from the interior
still with good soled shoes.
Birds call to each other
always beyond us.