the greatest gift

it was back then, when i flew from out the nest
that i started the journey.
across town.
across memory.
across lives.
across the vast universe of my own selves.

lost and found again
and maybe lost once more.
found and killed love.
it is persistent.

i scaled peaks i hadn’t even known were there.
raised a city
and the dead.
and myself.

was given golden keys
and shown the doors
that they unlocked.
and stepped through,
though i promised never to say
what was on the other side.
i haven’t.

made peace, and war, and all that makes man weep
and laugh, as well.
heard the angels sing
and felt the heat
as they swung their flaming swords.
i saw the pagan nymphs and satyrs dance.
i was pleased; there is no denying that.

and finally was torn, limb from limb
by my own hand
seeking thereby to find
what had long been promised.
what had long been promised.
i already knew it wasn’t there.

from tree to forest ground to tree again,
and now to the very tip
of its topmost branch
wavering on a leaf,
wind threatening to spill me back to the mossy floor,
i want back the gift i gave you
that long ago time
that final wisdom and certainty
i sacrificed so that i could be here.

give it back.
it is time i fly again.

29 Jan 2011, Los Angeles

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