Traces of Time - EXCERPT
Protocols of War
(Baghdad is not far)
Of this time you’ll gather no memories
for your eternal hunger.
Can’t you see the slags in the weave
that enfolds the flesh of the living?
Can’t you see that the boxes and drawers
where the silver of bygone days abounds
have no room for trinkets or seashells
of a present founded on plaster markets,
lost gazing at itself in the mirror
seeking itself in the halls of the world?
Don’t you see that for the first time
every man erects ruins for his heirs
enacting inane protocols of war
while the future slams its shutters tight
so as to celebrate on statistical altars
the glory of mindless marionettes
maneuvered by nothingness,
sprung in the bitter fields of oblivion?
Of this time you’ll gather no memories.
You’d ask if I were ever late.
That’s a problem for people stuck
between the second and last lanes.
Me, I’m in lone pursuit.
So that whether I’m early or late
depends solely on my mood and ruminations.
To catch the beat I clapped my hands once or twice,
before splashing my face with particles
of happiness. For getting it right. In the dark.
I live your love only in your absence
stitched in the woof
and weft of an invisible thread
endless throb of silence.
That’s not love, you’ll say, the way pain
not suffered, though dreaded,
isn’t pain. You, who ignore that death has set in
and trust the label on every bottle.