Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The clever helix of what was

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Traveler’s DNA


There were gaps in the sequence driving through the sun
blinding green of southern Oregon—a decrepit gray barn
kneeling in the final throes of entropy; a neglected fence
insisting something belonged to someone; a feather-splayed
hawk haggled over by crows in the roaring road—and other
things a traveler sees before I again picked up the thread.

This year the numbers align as they had been that winter
in Switzerland and today, Monday the tenth, day and date
match the fifth year since my leaving her for America, for
every familiar thing my fifty years had known until then.

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The memory has become manageable now, only slow lettings
from the eyes as most of it is neatly contained by the tempered
heart. Time teaches us these tricks, which I employ, in spite of
an inability to deny they are merely that. Veering through hills
burdened with blossom and wild mustard, I reexamine the old
sequence again: She follows me onto the train at the bahnhof
in Luzern, we embrace, kiss, goodbyes, I watch her pass through
the windows until she disappears, settle my swimming vision on
my bags and the absence of detritus on the floor, she reemerges,
takes my face in her hands and kisses the deep surprise into my
mouth sealing it forever as the most romantic moment of my life.

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Yes, it’s all here—the shades and hues; the scent and weather;
the delicate presses of lips against the grander picture that holds
all lost lovers so. And now even the music matches, the mystery
of mood, the anchoring of motion, all of it now in hill country,
country that insists there are new vistas ahead as those behind
collapse and eclipse, elevations one cannot prepare for or foretell,
journeys that untether as yours alone, hers alone, ours no longer
but in this dear rememberable manner. What makes us, therefore,
is comprised of what has gloriously undone us; the vagaries that
pass for science and romance; the clever helix of what was and is.

Joseph Gallo
March 12, 2008


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2 Comments:

Blogger 'soulless' parried...

A most thought-provoking piece.

What makes us, therefore,
is comprised of what has gloriously undone us


Several things come to mind: the process of elimination in order to come up with the right answer, the peeling of a fruit to get to its sweetness, the shaving of wood to carve a figurine, the shedding of feathers or of skin to make way for a different color. The process makes us (or our sense of the world) smaller, yet somehow more 'appropriate' or suited or prepared for different purposes yet to come. ;)

March 13, 2008 11:41 AM  
Blogger Joseph Gallo parried...

You've whittled it down to the essence, Souless, which achieves the process, which in turn becomes a place one can stand before the wind without being knocked over again and again.

To become, something must unbecome. It is the way of the world. Thanks for sharing your mind in these perfect examples. Smaller is sweeter and more essential. For those purposes to come.

:-)

March 13, 2008 1:27 PM  

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