Friday, January 1, 2021

Peripersonal Poetics

Kaleidoscopic but always
Peering down the same tube, story
Keeps the human focus transfixed

As any goggled mountaineer,
Chilled and hypoxic, exhausted,
But determined to reach the peak.

Step aside from myth and you’ll die,
One more clothed corpse in the freezer,
A narrative waiting to thaw.

Well, no. Not entirely. You can’t
Transcend chordate linearity,
Head to toe, cap a pie, and yet,

You can turn your eye from the lens,
You can work your way off the path.
Don’t let the ice take you apart—

Crawl like a rogue slug if you must,
Like a finger leaving the hand.
Others will summit, don’t worry.

Just break your fine concentration
On the step you have to take next.
You are not part of a story,

You’re host to tales infested you.
Pull away. Create a small space.
A little larger. Larger. Breathe.

It’s not over. You won’t be here
When it is. You’re more than journeys.
You’re the watcher by the wayside

Now, with enough time to vanish
If another host gets too close.
Slip off your well-made pack of lies,

Your viral load will lighten, too.
Look away from the mountaintop
And put away the telescope.

Withdrawal is not a process
Of conquest or discovery.
There is no journey. There is time.

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