Michael Parker

Ruminations of a man with a failing body under a perfect sunset

Is not the intent of this grand experiment to become
something more than animated clay

always moving toward tomorrow in grace?
Grace in our suffering. This is the true rubric

under which we are measured. Not how we are scuttled
by the growing leviathan of fear, or how

we entreat the soft-shelled ghosts shuttling
between worlds for the meaning of things.

It is true. This is the year of the goat.
The pages of Sartre are falling from the spine of their book.

A thousand black Winter birds explode from the leafless poplars.
And I am still searching for a safe place for a home for my hope

that incandescence of light, the ever-sought after
transformation of stone to a softer heart.

I have had a new epiphany, something greater than
our displacement, our diminution, our disappearing.

It is how we are always appearing, always in the act
of appearance; appearance as migrations,

appearance as minute transformations:
that save us from the anesthesia of grief and

enlarge the alliteration of light we so often pray for
flooded in the depths of every dark force waging against us.

I have fallen asleep and days have gone by without me.
I can attest that what propels me forward like fuel is kindness.

My eyes are seeing myself suspended in infinity and
always glowing. Glowing like the glowing death of stars,

like the forces in the heavens the mass of millions of suns
like this sunset – fire-red and piercing –

announcing I am a sudden wonder at any one moment.
And I shall always be leaving you in this same fierce-some glory.

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