Rowing on the Lake
by Aaron Fagan
Floating on the river
In a canoe, I conclude:
All is well. Everything
Is older than we are.
I’m here without you,
But with you there.
Moments dissolve
From order, consumed
By the artifacts of war,
Of this life as we know it
And begin to clear
And calm into duration.
We have to be sure we
Have been undone by
Love. Matter flies apart
And comes together again.
We’ve named our dead
In silence to grow across
Danger elegantly dumb,
To appreciate the sadness
Of existence from afar.
Now, at the kitchen table,
Exploring heartache
Over a glass of water,
I’ve placed all that is
The case beside my
Pedigree for rage.
I am here, you are there.
You were there with me,
And I was there with you.
Learning how to disappear
Completely came easy
For my love who used
To curl up in her failing
Marriage bed and dream,
Hooded and noosed,
She had become her
Platonic love, Lewis
Thornton Powell,
And die, again and again,
Every night, all night,
In the heat of that July day.
He sang beautifully,
In his youth, the hymn
“The Convert’s Farewell”
This world is all a wilderness,
This world is not for me.
Tyranny makes philosophy.
I’m lost to you given over
To the ocean. Behold,
I am become human.
Even the rain rains here
At the end of the world,
Our panic tracks us down
To be hunted in the water.
This inhuman show goes on.
You are there, and I am here.
We will die well
As lame horses
Or bright stars.
Our steps are words
And words are blanks
To be filled in again and again.
Wading out past the bend,
Joy rips us asunder, carrying
Our bodies back to life.

0 thoughts on “ANYWHERE BUT HERE

  1. A poem to come back to “again and again.” So many great epigrams. Practically every stanza contains one, or a great image, threaded together by repetition and an undercurrent of universalized personal experience. There is so much meaning here to draw out and connect. Makes me glad H&H’s daily postings stay posted in the archive.

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