Breathe Delicate Life

While you can still manage it,
Breathe deeply of delicate life which
Condenses years into memories;
Life, an antique music box, where only the high points
Haven’t worn down to nubs yet.
While our attention was elsewhere, changes came:
Our bodies stolen by practical jokers;
Our flesh made into hanging curtains
Supported only by gaunt twisted curtain bone- rods;
Rusty wire –sinewed claws rubbing our
Haunted ghost- eyes rolling around unfocused,
Looking backwards inside us instead of out.
We walk tilted, cockeyed with the awkward weight
Of the unbreathing, soon to arrive future non- existence:
All our sentences prefaced now with “I was” and “I used to”
Days we sit staring absently at nothing in particular;
Waiting for the next train to arrive;
Waiting for it to not come yet.
Wondering if we will still know the language there.
If we will be loved by any there, and even
If it turns out that it is the black brick wall they
Sometimes hint at, somehow it seems better
Than the endless, chill whiteness of the featureless horizon.
The old turn into bored children at the last,
And those in turn into embryos perhaps,
Just waiting. All of them waiting to be born.

by Patti Masterman

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