For Whitney…

It resonates.
This moment between moments, when our compulsion
to be
is not comprised of wishes that we were other than we are.
A moment when – however briefly – we are
all that we can be.
Life, reality:
These things can do no more to us in that moment
Than reach heavenward –
their determined, stumbling hands twinkling with uncertainty –
and try,
to encase us between their grubby fingertips.
Pretending as though somehow
these newly-freed birds of the air
are not so bright against the greying, lavender sky of this life
as we know ourselves to be.
In this moment –
however brief our efforts at perfection;
however short our time –
this, our last second as what we are
for now
remains as true as the
north wind, tumbling across the earth.
A certainty for an uncertain world.
Such is this wildness, this
last aria of life.
For a heartbeat, it will bank:
a hard right that leaves those behind, breathless
hearts gaping;
emotions without name flowing like
a thousand rivers.
But such is the height of our final note;

Such is the price of our song.
Whether we die in ditches,

Or wrapped in the useless threads of luxury
we must, each of us, leave behind.
this life will dive away from us all at some point.
Like a bird that seeks a fish beneath
the sea of all it is to be human:
changing, unpredictable
beautiful but dark as sharks that
have forgotten how to hunt but not how to lunge.
At some point,
we will all make our own tumblings
into eternity
and the consequences of the lives we chose.
What then?
What shall be our echo?
Our refrain to be cast to the stars:
Shall it be hollow? Shall our song
be just as the lies we speak
to each other,
to ourselves,
as we stand
generation to generation
before the bathroom vanities of our kind?
Let our song be as that of one
who has passed by only in body.
Who says
Though I existed,
I also have lived.
Though I was broken,
so in being scarred,
I am healed.
Though now I am dust,
I had a moment.
Fierce as the sun.
And it was mine.

© Erin Brown 2012