Monday, August 23, 2021

Aoriston, or Ninety Minutes Alone with the Non-Human World

Free from unidirectional
Fungible social memberships,
The clutching kind where you’re allowed,

Hired, or even proselytized
To join but forbidden to leave
Their essence of human Us-ness,

Free from scrutiny by strangers,
Free from passing stares of police,
Free from polite conversations,

Up on the mesas before dawn,
Before the earliest campers,
After the last drunks have rolled down,

When rabbits, bats, and moths are out,
Crickets cricking, birds still sleeping,
Nothing much doing but slight winds,

Just to have the senses well filled
With anything but the human,
All-too human yourself—just worn.

You know it’s not transcendental.
You know you haven’t escaped. You
Know the day will go on to day.

You know that terror would seize you
If this was well and truly it,
And all other humans were gone.

But anyway you savor it,
From horizon to horizon,
A starred dark disk of perspective

In which you are neither success
Nor failure, nor wanted, nor loathed,
Nor lonely, nor even alone.

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