Friday, August 27, 2010

95. Unutterable

Place and its absence
through its abundance,
to be not from
somewhere but about,
and in places,
defined by moving,
stilled by place
and momentary.

Numbers in the counting of
a home,
which might be one
counted among different places,
or a continuing family,
memory stamped by place
and time of moving on.

To see the real
as stable place
and home, to touch
the same road
for a lifetime’s
walking is forgetting
the continuous self,
orchestration of
experience into
memory made
tangible, what
replaces place.

Everything unutterable
is what is requested of us.
What was it like (to live
the only life we’d lived)?
What did we miss (from
living what we’d known
and never what they had)?
We cannot speak
except to say we were
alive, we are alive.

My spiel is five states
(counting the District of Columbia
as a state), nine countries,
four continents, and forty-six
moves over the course of
a life not much longer
than that in years. We move.
We live. We are as we were
and would be. We are not
defined by place, but
places, where we stopped,
where we caught the wind.
I was born on the peninsula
between the Pacific and
(within view of) the giant
southern gaping mouth
of San Francisco Bay. I lived
blocks from the Atlantic,
with Lake Erie as my backyard,
on a beach beside the Caribbean,
across the Via Lido from
the Indian Ocean. I have seen
the earth’s one ocean from many
angles, and I am watery from my
views and being in these
instances of that one place.
Having been everywhere, I am
simply here.

You understand, and so
you understand the sun shines
everywhere upon our shoulders
and could turn our skin brown,
but it appears in different
forms in different places.
There is no place except
in relation to other places.
No single home. No one place
we could say we come from.

We move, and in this way
we survive, we persist,
we continue forthrightly
into the present. We are.

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