Of the time of school and times tables,
Of numbers counted from zero
To an end, a ten, a twenty, a thirty.
An introduction to the idea of no end
Was all numbers plus the latest one,
And on, and on you would walk down
The dark tumbling roads towards a home
With a wild birthday cake of sparkling candles
In the black sky, and then comes the shaking,
The unmentionable fear, the crying,
The muddying of knees, the mind slipping
A gear and reckoning with forever
For a moment stretching without end
And the body, all earthly and born,
Broke into pieces of an early death
While some other state mourns the boy.
Whistling in the dark fighting off floating
Nothing always surviving in the end.
Raggedy arms clutching at air. Some
Skin feeling the roll of wet shock – the body
Raising a flag of surrender to the end
And for a moment you lifting away,
Changing into some other universe,
Uncounted and unperceived, a place
Beyond the lick and sweat and electric
Shocks of the brain seated on warbling neck.
Some nothing resting at peace beyond
The screaming, loving, laughing, fighting.
Some nothing full of the everything that would
Come and the everything that would go away.
Some part knew of an end and the other,
That lost place of no mirroring self, that
Place of no worded understanding,
That place walking into that boy that night
From every place that never was born
In the shadow of this sun and her afterlight.