Sunday, April 22, 2012

Time, or the Lack Thereof

He's a bastard I can't figure out
And ought to leave alone. He's not
Important in any tractable way,
His existence is existential,
Not humanly useful, even though
Humanly made. He's not natural,
Or at least he's not normative,
Or at least he's not gendered
Or relevant in anything but
A pragmatic way to any religion,
Revolution, underground movement
To organize us properly, the better
To save us from ourselves, you know
The sort of thing, the human need
To save humans from humans,
Humans from the world, the world
From humans, exactly the effort
That dooms us all to being led
Around by the hopes by each other,
And thus to the opposite of saved.

I saw a holy piece of digital movie,
Shot in the Frank Church River
Of No Return Wilderness in winter.
A mule deer doe had taken herself
Into frigid river water cold enough
To kill her if she stayed there, but
She stayed there because the wolves
Who were beautiful and hungry
And organized and threatened
With extirpation by furious men
Had trapped her between them
And the bitter rapids. For all
Her valiant swimming, for all
The fear in her eyes, the adrenaline
In her bloodstream, she could not
Avoid them. She struggled, they
Stalked, the filmmaker tracked
The drama, as humans will.
In her end, she was ripped
From the icy water by her throat
And still flailing legs, and torn
And gutted, dying, in the snow.
And that is what enough time
Will do for you, the bastard,
Who lets you film the suffering
Of the hungry in the jaws
Of the hungry of the world.

The filmmaker's colleague
And wife in the wilderness
Had just been diagnosed
The year before with rheumatoid
Arthritis. "My immune system
Has gone haywire," she explained
Of her swollen joints a month
Or two before her husband shot
The wolves devouring the deer,
Just a few weeks before they cut
Their year of filming short because
Her self-consuming joints became
Too awfully inflamed. That bastard.
He wears away, he wears away,
And though he is not real, he's not,
He will not let us be.

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