Beyond Expectation

Because I did not expect 
to live this long,
I have over the years
sold and tossed 
and given away
many things I loved, telling myself
that doing so 

was a way of ensuring
that I might be of some use
as a conduit for certain cherished things
to end up in righteous
and deserving hands. 

Then I did live this long,
far beyond expectation,
and now my hands 
are as empty as I am.

This is not a song of mourning,
not a self-pity song;
this is how we face the stripping away
of illusion at the close of day,
how we sunset when it’s time for dusk.

In the early days of knowing
I would not live long, I was free
and giddy as I shed
guitars and clothes and hats
and all those hours
of recorded music, all those
books, all those things
I’d loved, saying they were in me
now and no one could take them
from me.

Then I lived long
and now I am as empty as my hands;
so much sucked away, so much
drained from me by rough use
and diminishing returns. 

This is not a song of mourning,
not a self-pity song.
This is how we close our eyes
and see how hard the truth is,
how at once loaded and light it is.

What am I supposed to do now 
in such an empty space
if I want to stop existing at last?
Stick this truth in my mouth
and pull on some bitter little fact
like a trigger? 

Not at all: I’m going to sit here

with my empty hands
outstretched and see what,
if anything, falls into them
from above. Wait for the void
to take effect. See if my
remaining possessions 
flee me screaming,
leave quietly, or are taken
one by one into the light.

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About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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