Do you think of life as a walk
or more likely a march toward inevitibility
or do you think of it more like
a gradual spending-down of an accrued wealth
or as a building-up of dust leading to
a final shutting-down of the entire system
or even progressive molting until
the body is too big to support the heart
pumping away in its little birdcage
waiting to be set free when its owner kicks it
or is it a blush fading gradually
from the initial source of embarrassment
that is your parents coupling
in strangers’ bedrooms as terrible houseguests
or maybe our lives are themselves the measure
of the lifetime of the universe
each birth and death the ba-dump of the great
heart in the center of the sun
you can hear it if you listen very carefully
during non-peak times for radio transmission
it’s faint and easily lost in the wind of
everything else but it’s there
like birdsong high above the grind of traffic
in a large city on Monday afternoons
or the gasp of an orgasm underneath the march
of people rallying for a cause
or of death when it comes quiet as an arrow
and pierces all your armor
while you’re busy in the heat the literal
heat of battle and you fall down
and the fight keeps raging around your
empty frame it never stops does it