Standing still, speaking to you, poised in my posture, I spin slightly askew, upon an axis, grounded by gravity while circling the sun in a solar system that spins slightly askew, transfixed betwixt glutinous galaxies which twist amidst orbits of other planets, stars, and gases, and I think, What happens when I die?
Will my cells stop being friends?
Will my saliva become simply slime?
Will any single part of my body
even remember that it once was mine?

My poor simian brain bends until it breaks when I try to grasp the stakes of my existence. My pinprick millisecond. My firefly flicker. I know my life is shorter than a baby’s breath when compared to time’s true depth and yet, and yet, I cannot help but become upset or feel regret.

But if everything changes all the time then that must include my mind. If every cell in my body is replaced then some thoughts must die. So every so often I ask myself, Who am I?

I never would have thought that I could become a stranger to myself until the night I realized that I was alive while in my dreams.

The freedom of fantasy was silky and smooth beneath my feet and I felt,
for the first time in my life,
the absence of friction.
With my senses censored,
I fell. I fell, and I fell,
and I did not know if the ground was rising up to meet me, or whether the sky was falling upon my shoulders,
or whether I was slipping between the lines, to meet the space which lies within the space which lies within the space.

And when I woke, with my eyes darting wildly behind the curtains of my mind,
it was into yet another dream.

But this time, with borders and barriers, straight edges and hard-staring, downcast eyes, and all the birds were caught upon a wire, warped and barbed.
And I laughed. I laughed, and I laughed, and I thought to myself,
“I’ll never make it out alive.”
And when the sun finally shone upon my face,
and I felt the soreness in my limbs from having slept with a spun spine,
and I felt my bladder bulge within me, I turned upon my back, stared at the lampshade and wondered
whether my mind would liberate me with its dreams or ensnare me with its nightmares.

I left my life behind then to seek refuge in an old-growth forest.
Et un sapin triste m’a dit que la planète est fatiguée avec tout le monde.
And a snake eating its tale told me that the end times were near.
While a buried pinecone prayed for fire, I wept.

For indeed, the Sun had crashed into the horizon, setting the world ablaze. And to save me from the flames, the forest floor closed in upon itself and swallowed me into its womb.

There was no scream. No shock or protest with my sudden burial. This moment had been in the background of all my dreams so how could I be afraid?
I was absorbed into the soil and my exhalations were swallowed by the fires raging overhead.

And amidst the ashes of a crumbling ego
There was peace.
And there was silence.
And time stretched onward.
And as the molecules of my matter traded places with the surrounding space,
and as this trade took place with the space that surrounds the space surrounding the space, I dissolved.
I dispersed like a dying sun, traveling to distant galaxies where memory could no longer serve me.
And yet, and yet, I spoke as myself without having an entity.
And the Universe spread itself before me, until the end of eternity.


by Michael Cody Clarke
All Rights Reserved