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The book The House of the World has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and is now available on Amazon.

The Mission

If you ask how long I’ll live,
I reply,
until my mission’s done,
until light no longer sprinkles from a shaker,
until I no longer squat in the dust
and celebrate the joy of Jackie’s joy.
Jackie and I have descended from planets,
from moons,
starlight scattered by the rain,
wind flowering in the sky
with the face of snowflakes,
sand, fog, the open secrets of the earth.

My mission stops
when I no longer hear poetry in my heart.
When the dust dissolves,
when my mouth loses its thirst,
and my hands no longer feel
the extension of my hope.
But let me ask you,
when do you stop breathing?
When do you turn your face to the wall?
When do you taste nothing,
and wish for nothing?

That is when you die,
when the mold has been cast.
When the wild plumage of your soul
sinks back from the sky,
and you sleep, a lost bird,
a drowned fish,
a flower pressed by time
and scattered like colored dust.

My friend,
we never die,
we never lose our mission,
we only become tired of spite and lying,
and cold indifference.
And the loss of playing,
of running like a child
and asking nothing except to be
a wild thing,
with the ocean in us,
and the sky.
And the roads from dawn,
that provide a lane from star to star,
and we like all wild things,
are gentle, and wise, and open,
and innocent as a shore
covered with jewels from the sea.

Forever is nothing to us.
Weight an illusion.
Darkness, the edge of a smile.
Our mission,
to be as a breath of innocence
in a universe,
barely existing beyond a kiss.

Published inIndex of all Poems