Friday, May 10, 2013

"What I Live For" (a draft)

Today I’m taking part in "What I Live For," an online event organized by author Satya (Fiona) Robyn. People  all over the world will be sharing what gives their lives meaning. In Satya Robyn’s novel Thaw, Ruth gives herself three months to decide whether she can find a reason to carry on living. There’s 75% off the kindle version today (99p / $1.49) – read more here.

What I Live For

Once, I wanted to die.

Actually, more than
once—five, ten, twelve,
I can't count
numbers that, thank God,
went their aeolian way,
blown into some worthy
dumpster or worm's mouth,
numbers less than 
a bleeding mosquito,
less than dust shaken from a carpet
being cleaned on the porch
in springtime, less than
the disappearing moment it takes
to splotch some paint on canvas,
or type or say a meaningful word,
less than the microbe that gave you a cold.

And far, far less than anything 
I see in your smile, yes,
far less than our girls' giggles, far less
than the goofy grin
on the dog's face, the ineffable
purr of the cats, the perfect
pumpkin you picked
that day the four of us
went to the fields 
with your parents,
sun on our heads
like halos.  We transformed
into spiritual friends,
laughing like warm breezes,
anticipating gooey squash guts,
the ride home, the soft chatter,
the calls from friends, my brothers,
my mother asking
what we're doing this summer.

That's how less-than became
those suicidal seconds, growing
backwards, small, smaller, smaller,
tiny, even, 
small enough 
to become most vulnerable,
small enough to get sucked into wind,
small enough to pass,
like winter.

Copyright May 10, 2013, Katherine Gotthardt




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