You will find yourself slowly retreating
Like a ghost does from this earth
After settling its haunting pains.
From the high fires and the glowing, splintering embers
The fallen, wide-reaching monoliths create a canopy
Over the ashen skies of San Francisco.
Clouds roll in like mildew does from the blade,
Bringing in an ocean mist
Lamenting on your lip of your windowsill.
This fire will subside soon,
As most fires do.
I will go to the shores of eternity and build a boat,
Departing from the sinking sand.
Gripping the wooden panels and push,
My feet slipping and falling out from under me,
Tumbling minute after minute after minute into the sea,
Lost in the tides,
I will settle to the ocean floor,
In your vibrant youth that is quickly fading
With each hair and wrinkle you push to the side of the bathroom sink,
You will stumble into a room sullen and opaque from the deadening dust
Swirling around in its own stagnant atmosphere,
Will see the somber faces of your cousins and aunts and uncles.
They will pat you on the back,
Give you condolences
That the world,
Regardless of this catastrophe and all the ones to follow,
They tell you with trembling words
“It’ll be ok.”
You will lose,
Slowly, at first,
And then quicker than you can handle with your typical gravitas.
It will tear down the painted veils and the busy Devonshire tapestries,
Ripping at the veins and floorboards,
Especially at the column of your unwearied support;
The support that created you from scratch-
That taught you justly with a chilling iron fist, opening to a warm embrace-
That reckoned your faults, only to save you from the brink-
Until there is nothing left of you
But flowing tears penetrating the cracks of your aged hands.
Our faces mold to the fine contours of the life that crafted our years,
Bringing the flimsy jawline to meet the deep-hanging neck.
Deep caverns in your once taut skin
Signify that your days are numbered, kid.
“Did you use them wisely?”
Men and women languish in the room
As their understanding exceeds no further than the hardly-ethereal;
The lightness of their being dancing on whims.
Lilacs twist and dance as the sun arches in time.
There are no anchors that tether them to this world
Freely believing that they will ascend in
Their moment of clarity.
The Bourgogne into the alleyways
Of the Champs Elysees.
Back to the hostel.
We will ask if
You remember what
The streets looked like at 2
On a brisk Saturday morning,
if the street lights
As they radiated majestically upon the granular pavement your clumsy heels scathed,
God damn it,
You won’t remember.