Even with an excess of cleverness
you couldn’t foresee the extent of this regret.
So you crossed it, with your trademark
swagger and belligerence; the swagger
lies in your steps of Spanish leather,
the belligerence in fiery breaths, furtively
snatched from your back pocket.
Enough. It’s over now.
Time to walk away from that wreckage.
Use those exact same measures
of temperament, if you wish.
Make it an unforeseen blessing
that you leave yourself no choice but
to go all the way, whichever direction.
Just go, with your gaze fixed forward
Like a monk who slowly emaciates,
shedding his flesh, his excess,
not yet humbled, not yet nothing,
smoldering until the moment his bones
meet the seams of his saffron robe
enflamed, for an instant, in the essence
He conquered hemispheres and centuries,
After the blindness dies comes shattering chains,
a cage dismantled bar by cold metal bar,
the city wall reduced to its individual bricks,
that breaking free only ever beginning.
a staff to walk across rocks and sand
a black horse to cross the grassy expanse
a white crane unfolding her feathers at dusk
at last, at last. Like that,
the way this freedom has always been,
as close and relentless as a star.
As cold, bright, and unreachable,
until the effort itself makes that same light
and blindingly redemptive.