the obsessions of youth

usually,
you get
up.
today,
you go back
to sleep.

usually,
it’s cloudy,
thick,
gray.
today,
the sun has
no barrier.

when
the darkness
comes
as it so usually
does,
usually,
you fight it.

today,
when the darkness comes,
you let it come.

a woman you knew
when you were both
teenager,
she,
this morning,
was on your mind.
later,
when walking
darkly
in the unobstructed brightness,
you see her.
this is unusual.
you stop.
say hello.
she doesn’t recognize
you, you
say your name.
she smiles,
as do you.
you walk with her
for a short distance
and say goodbye
again.

last night,
your grandmother,
ninety four years old,
she dies.
you never did know
her. she,
a stranger to you,
also a stranger,
for your entire life.

and then
today,
you meet briefly
with your friend,
your meeting
interrupted
by a buzzing phone.
the friend’s child,
not yet a teenager,
has taken too much
medication.
trying
to lessen the
confusion,
its expression
as pain.

this morning,
with the sun
and the darkness,
you do not fight.
you let them come.

in the water
there is a bird.
it is black
and it is white.
small.
floating.
the wind
nudges the water
to ripples
and hillocks.
the bird bobs
and turns.
and above you,
while you were walking,
a power line is
hiccuped
in dozens of birds.
the wind
nudges the power line
to a slight
sway.
the birds
sway
in time.

the pale white moon, a dat or two past full, floats in the black of night

Published by Zak

an intertidal island in an ocean of impermanence.

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