Saturday, October 13, 2012

Sort of Immortal

The mysteries of the forest
Remain a river and a road
Wound right around the heart of it
That, no matter how well explored,
Have never led me out of it.

I did find Atrahasis once,
Old man still living in his jug,
Washed down from eroded mountains
And lodged in a cutbank for now.
I was young and eager to learn

Of the world outside my own neck
Of the woods, so I begged advice
From someone so old he seemed past
The limitations of his mind,
From someone made before these woods

Had reseeded and colonized
The ground he'd seen through fire and flood.
But he didn't seem that impressed
With being three thousand and three,
Or even all that wise to me.

One thing he did say sort of stuck
All the way downriver to here
Where I'm circling down the road home:
"I don't know why we celebrate
Survival when all of us know

The last one alive dies alone."
He looked pleased, like he'd said something
Clever and now wished to conclude
Our chat with that neat epigram.
I shrugged and I left. Here I am.

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