Reasons To Live
When I raise my eyes from this mug of foam
And catch the shadows of scum riding on
Or gaze into the terraces that line my mother’s face,
Overwhelmed and apathetic to those specks of blue—
The color of hope—
Broken, between the gaps of
For what is breath and lungs and
Blood-pumping ventricles? And what does it have to do
With me? Must I breathe?
But breathing—the conscious act that chooses
To see the ember in the soot
And fan it into flame. Like
The day you learned to read,
Which more aptly seemed
The day you
Unlocked the world.
Or that sweet flood of value
When eyes lock across a room and
You are sifted like gold from rock.
And you know and are known,
Beyond word, thought, or act,
Casual and wonderful: unconditional.
That dull ache like emerging hunger
At the back of your throat
From the release of tears
Which seems at first a plausible card
For sympathy, until age argues otherwise,
In the emancipation of emotions perceived.
In the same way, laughter,
Bipolar as a wave crashes and crumbles
At the everyday dust injustice brings—
Singing in the rain;
A mystery undefined as grief—
Stuff you cannot chart—but you try to anyway
Because you belong to humanity.
But out of all this, this thing, perhaps,
Is the force that drives me forward:
Extravagance nailed to a twisted tree.