Tuesday, December 12, 2006

We are born and we become

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Life After Life
For Sharry & Richard

We come into the air and it hurts. We grieve water;
ache for the flood of mother. Slowly we immerse in
the rigors of newborn glaciers. Year by year we learn
the deep languages of orphaned fossils, learn to recognize
the plaintive wails of mollusk whose music moves the
locked current through formless days we feel no anchor to.

So we buoy without ballast; move in ways that seldom near
the margins found in settled comfort, tetherless as the
ghost of a jellyfish. With eyes unable to distinguish
true purpose, we square our lives wondering about life
after death. Do we continue? Is there more? Does death

promise beyond this day’s provision? Is mystery negotiable?

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Seldom do we consider another alternative. We are born
and we become. What we compromise. What we pilfer.
What we bargain or swindle. Sometimes we are graced
with plenty, undeserving of the blithe fortunes that veer
from so very many. What we earn in this is a kind of
territory within our own skins. Sometimes it is a bed of
razors settled at the bottom of a barbed sea. Sometimes,
a glazed hammock swinging gently in the sleeping sun.

There are miles to walk, we hear someone say, miles
to go before we’re done
. What is this step after step?
Is it what we decide to become next year, or what we
gladly abandon to a mulch of futility? Tomorrow you
will open the same door, stand rubbing your eyes on the
same porch, before the same path that leads to all the
others worn thin by routine, where you connect to the
wear of your daily trod. For a moment, there will be a
brief window before the first footfall. And in that time,
before the world has its way with you, before you follow
an alphabet scrawled in brave sand, there will come a pause,
a chance to ask yourself this: Is there life after Life?

Joseph Gallo
December 12, 2006

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In memoriam for Richard Bomer Manzullo
(July 19, 1967 - December 12, 2005)


Blogger Joni parried...

This is beautiful Joseph. Thank you.

December 13, 2006 1:50 PM  
Blogger billie parried...

I love this one. It is both soothing and provocative.


December 15, 2006 5:15 AM  

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