And Victor says a man can’t live unless he believes
he has a future—in which my home is burning—
in which there is someone waving behind the flames—
and I’ve thrown enough dice to know what my hand
with no luck looks like
and I’ve dreamt enough nights
to know what my arm with no skin looks like and
there’s always a house on fire that I can’t run from and
there’s always someone I love gone so silent
and can’t remember what their song was.
And the philosopher says, don’t say you lost it, say you gave it back.
In which my mind is given back. In which my teeth are given back.
In which everyone you know spinning off into space is given back.
Something like that. In which, the poet’s craft, life raft, light breeze,
slow collapse. In which, dreams contract until
future and god are so incomprehensible they could be falling
through the same silence. In which bone spur, old man, cataract.
In which car crash, panic and or heart attack In which
human is the only species that dies by its own hand and
how human is that? Like palms clasp, prayer or holding hands,
feeling each other’s heartbeats until you can’t tell whose is whose.
In which I don’t remember my last good sleep—that kind of dream
where I can’t make it right like waking—like I can’t make right
anything with these scattered hands and dimming brights.
I can tell you I meant no harm. I can say I pray
you’re okay every morning even though I don’t think anyone listens
and I’m not sure if I know what a prayer is.
In which I hope the wind loves our backs when our thoughts
and bodies can’t—in which, I hope you’ll say something nice
at my funeral. In which I don’t deserve a damn thing
but to watch you go. Watch you all go. Give you back.
© 2013 Michael Moriarty
The Big Windows Review 5 (Fall 2013)