Think Back To When
We wore our hearts on our sleeves.
It was like an ID that anyone could see,
like carrying a bouquet of flowers
to one’s first girl,
that stepping out moment
about which one could not only be proud, but ostentatious;
and each moment then was like the presentation
of a great play.
It was as though there was dancing in the streets.
Smiles were not secret.
Even stray dogs wagged their tails,
came to us to be petted.
Such was the quality of youth
that we exhibited,
like an artist at his first show
before the negation that morning proffered.
Inevitable, of course.
Even the finest machines
wear down: That great car begins to smoke;
The computer becomes constipated,
Its hard drive just stuffed to the gills.
Like spontaneous combustion: natural, inescapable,
Like that amazing chronometer, conceived by Archimedes,
which was recently dredged up from the Aegean,
retrieved from a sunken trireme,
rusted, almost unrecognizable.
Hoyle was incorrect.
The universe is neither static, nor stable.
It is not something about which one should hold one’s breath.
Ends are a normal consequence whenever there is a beginning.
Piles of trash will cover the Earth,
and no one will take it away.
It is a nice, but spooky, feeling to think back to when we were cuddly,
even when we had put on sweaters
and were huddled together to keep warm.
One characteristic of those cold northern winters
was that one’s feelings, after such blatant exhibitionism,
could be so easily disguised; even withdrawn.
Just pull the drawstrings on your hood
and you are as separate as stars, as galaxies
that are so distant they are invisible to one another.
Sweaters have this quality.
They cover up those messy hearts on our shirt sleeves