Saturday, April 26, 2014

What to do with a life?

by Christine Fojas

Turn it over with deft hands,
trace the lines on the surface,
lightly, oh so lightly.
There are coins to spend.
There are books to be read.
There are questions that hang
in the air like mobiles.
A little askew.

We are all skin--touch us hard
enough and we will bruise;
cut us deep, and blood
will seep out, and then the healing
begins. Deeper,
and you court death.

You breathe,
as much as you can.
You breathe in the open fire,
a lover's kiss, the soup
on the boil.
Invisible smoke,
trailing away.

Chop it up into pieces
you can chew. Season it well,
then watch it brown on the grill.
Hell's a kitchen, but God's knife
put us there.

I don't know. But it's an ugly answer
to a beautiful question. What does
ignorance give you, except a hollow,
an absent stone, a need?

But it never goes away. The life
is yours but not quite. We are pinned
on a net and spread out over the sea
and the water passes through
our emptiness, and sometimes
there is a fish or two, caught
as we are caught.

Turn it over with deft hands,
and then let it go. Watch its silver
flash, sharp fins, trail of bubble-talk.
Watch the ocean-void swallow it down.

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