“Time will say nothing but I told you so,
Time only knows the price we have to pay;
If I could tell you I would let you know.”
― W.H. Auden, Selected Poems
Strange and unwanted miracle, this sudden slowing
of my thoughts from the speed of light (or
sound when I was quick enough
to get them on paper) to the speed
of water: gurgling and tumbling along
quick or slow, over rocks and roots, pulling
me along, giving me moments to rise for air
if it is daytime, or if at night
no time to rise at all
so that I have had to grow gills
and navigate my way through oceans
of dreams that make perfect sense until
I reach the next morning's shore.
But the nightmares are receding. I don't scream
anymore, don't thrash, and I am grateful
for now there is no one to wake me and tell me
it isn't real; that things are, after all, alright.
I have learned to do this for myself
--say, 'it is alright. It is not real--whatever it is
that terrifies you; it is not real.'
Sometimes I miss the speed of light.
I remember the grace in flight
I remember all possibilities rushing past as I fell
before I knew it for a fall--when I still believed
I could survive anything, even gravity
even the reins of my own existence
even the death of the god I worshiped back then
the one I believed could overcome anything.
I used to wonder if Icarus would take a second