Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Man without a Body

The spirit breathed deep in Niagara Falls
Where Model-T grandparents honeymooned,
In the reek of Coney Island hot dogs,
Never imagining that Coney once

Meant rabbit, not processed pork sausages,
In the hot suntan lotion wind over
The Grand Canyon's South Rim, one traveler,
Vague and lost among the globe-girdling hordes,

In the steaming cold of the Yellowstone
Caldera, alone with a life long gone,
Reduced to ashes, who was delighted
That morning to be in America,

The spirit of the thing encompassing
All the conquered beauty of betrayal,
The madness that is patriotism,
The simple longing for belonging here

Where no one can belong, new arrivals
Every day, here at the end of a year
Marked by the arbitrary calendars
That designate dates imaginary

As having a being, having body,
Having schemes and choices, having a home,
Having a country to gnaw on, a bone.
The sun sets on all that. It really sets.

Earth never revolved around it. Spirit
Never managed to become one with breath
No how matter how deeply drawn in, how sharp
And heady, how sharp and painful the quest.

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