The Fire Was Lit / Weight


A couple of poems written in my journal while working at the movie theater yesterday evening.

The fire was lit
Before I knew
The dangerous dance
Of hanging up the habits
Of a tenderer time
And falling, head-first,
Into a world
Of decadent, impossible love.

But then,
You see,
The first among us
Are hardly last
And if you ask me
How to find the way to Paradise–
Well, what do I know
Of such things,
Except that a penny can’t get you there–
Neither in spring, nor in snow?

Tiredness, a weight around your neck that keeps you from sleep when all you wish for is sleep– for the reprieve of disappearance into a moment of non-being, a pause of responsibility in a living, breathing world.

The weight is heavy, yes, but you’ve forgotten what it is to be light, and soon you’ll have forgotten the rest– the smells, the sounds of happiness– since the world moves on when you’re still standing in the spot you couldn’t figure out how to leave behind.

The blast of a carrier wind brings you to a gentler place– quiet and kind. There, the people smile with whitewashed teeth and a pleasant look, but there is no hand to touch your arm, no mouth to tell you that it’s all right.

Yet the fact of being lonely is only a state of mind, a habit worn like an old fur coat, too cumbersome to remove when the air around you is still a bit chill.

Can you forget the words? It turns out, you can– you’ve forgotten the feelings, too. For in the mess of an unplumbed mind– the clutter of a hurting heart– everything gets remembered and forgotten all at once, so that the truth of any given thought swings in the uncertain balance of imperfect recollection.

But have I come close to describing the thud of losing hope, the thousand pieces of self that abandon themselves like vagrants when your simple faith is proven wrong?

Millennia of poets have sung the songs of love,
but who has sung your sorrow,
who has written of your impossible weight?