“Which of us is not forever a stranger and alone?” ~Thomas Wolfe
To get out of the land
is more painfully done than said.
A stranger in all the familiar places
will seek respite in foreign arms.
Lot’s wife was the lucky one,
frozen in time before realisation
set in. The destruction you flee
is your own heart imploding.
The peace you seek recedes
eternally into the distance.
Just this one time you thought
you might be understood,
might share a vision with
a deluded angel or sympathetic
demon, but in the end you
settle again into a seat for one.
This guy once refused to mourn
a little girl who died in a fire,
and we were shocked,
but here we are,
and mourning is forbidden.
We already had distance from death,
sending the dying to hospitals to
negotiate their final arrangements
with eternity in solitude.
And now we wrangle with loss,
alone, muttering final farewells
into wells of wine and beer.
We’ve got this far apart,
and, somehow, drifting
in starless night has made
us realise, against all odds, this
is community. God is in
the limen between me and other.
At one moment, this penumbral
light marks an opening, an escape,
and the next it marks the infinite fading.
I will forever whisper, “I love you,”
as a torturing tic of Tourette’s
until darkness muzzles the
motoring mouthpiece of my mind
and peace kills what remains of desire.