Poem by D.J. Hamilton (USA/ Mexico), Published in Issue 28.
For A.N.S. (1980-2013)
Each one is the first one.
It does not get easier.
A noise unfolding out of itself
and back into itself
like an Escher painting,
like a deafening wave
coiling into infinity.
A sour, acrid smell
like burnt coffee,
a puff of smoke
and a tiny metal object
shatters a human skull.
The lungs infusing oxygen into the blood,
the great pump pushing gallon after gallon,
the making of hormones and bile and phlegm,
the ovaries releasing eggs,
and other ever present processes of organs,
the exquisite electrical dance
of ions leaping from synapse to synapse
and the cells dividing, re-dividing, re-dividing …
All the million little miracles
of human biology
This is not some bullshit Matrix sequel.
Nothing is in slow motion,
and no one dodges a bullet.
Time itself is stopped
as one human life exits the planet.
And the loved ones, the living,
they also leave Earth,
floating for a long time
Into the void of grief,
a universe of its own rules
as vast and incomprehensible as
with no telescope or astronomer
to illuminate its empty depths.
There is no explanation,
no theory of relativity
for these relatives
no Galileo to guide
these loved ones, only
the stumbling of their own unseeing hearts.
There are no arms long enough
to hold these broken lives together.
No hug can push this pain away.
They are haunted now
by empty pages and blank canvasses
of unwritten books and unpainted pictures.
They live in a deep silence,
lacking for laughter and songs
that are forever stilled.
Sealed in, like astronauts
in separate, crippled spaceships
they whirl in orbits they never planned
endless ellipses bring them back where they began
without radio contact
no human voice, no touch
no tears, no prayers can penetrate
the prison of this isolation.
But the universe organizes itself.
along eternal and inviolate laws.
which we cannot resist,
though we comprehend them not.
How can light be a particle
and a wave?
How can that which so wounds us
Heal us again?
Love is a kind of gravity,
a mutual and relentless pull.
Only this invisible, irresistible force,
the love of others,
over time, will slowly
bring the grieving
back to earth.
D.J. Hamilton writes poems and plays. He lives in Mexico City and teaches at The American School.
Image: Luigi Russolo (1885- 1947) From The Art of Noises (1913)