Sunday, June 23, 2019

The Loss of Loss

“Who knows the fate of his bones?”

Irrational ferity
Attends immortality
In all its guises.

It’s not civilization
Made us crave living
Forever. Living bodies

Crave living, while they’re dying,
And the fly that lives a day,
The microbe that lives an hour,

Strive to continue
With the same ferocity
That drove the emperor Qin

To poison himself
With immortal quicksilver’s
Mercurial alchemy.

Heaven and enlightenment,
Salvation and satori,
Any promise of escape

From suffering and rebirth
Lure our first, tentative steps
Away from the perspective

That’s Immortal in the flesh.
The setting aside
Of even those guides comes next.

Surrendering forever
And burying the ashes
Of the eternal

Or interring them in urns
Out of lingering respect,
Are signs signs help us accept

The failure of hungry flesh.
We are the world’s first mortals,
Who savor what can’t be kept.

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