For When the Heart Tears Into Itself

I don’t know when, nor am I meant to,
but there was a time when the remedy
was to sit down with the evening
and decipher the syllables in the sky.
But know that I am not making a wish.
I know the Old World has been shelved
by some nameless God of libraries.
Each small thing named and numbered.
Gone are the days one can trace a cloud
to the middle of a body of water
and feel the prescribed amount
of displacement. Even desertion
has been overcome. I did not ask
for this, but no use complaining.
What other way but to want what we have:
cruise ships, jets, and all the inherited
inventions made to enclose us together
in a single world. People no longer lost
nor powerless, only human, and therefore
silent in the courtroom of the possible world.
Because we know it will never be enough.
Whatever it is. Already there are machines
in the sky meddling with the code of stars.
There is the expanding universe, and the self,
willfully shrinking into the yearning grave.
There are sciences. And poems
about everything. This is the world
we have broken. Too easy to live
and die. To have, in the right books, answers
to questions that have never been asked. Yes.
That library is sinking into the core of the Earth
because its architect neglected the weight
of knowledge. That shuttle burst to flames, silent,
in cold, soundless space. And Yes,
goddamnit, that meaningless girl
in that meaningless story in that old book
loves you back. We are beyond the finish line now,
beyond the industrial beating of these old hearts
we’ve been born with—their unchanged engines
blowing the steam of century old questions,
asking the still-vast atmosphere
for all the old answers.

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