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The mark

The mark is naïve and doesn’t
think they aren’t strangers who
work together against him with
the cheat who hides the black
ace in his black, back jacket sash—
near the brink of oblivion, near
the infinite brink of his mask

In a distinctly vicious world
we thrive or starve because an
asteroid accident obliterated the
dinosaurs, transformed them
into birds and without which we
wouldn’t be alive in this world
The terror of our death

is like 16 swans who circle
over me and disappear into the
sun as a glittering silver ribbon
Our warrior won’t go celebrate with
fireworks, he won’t go see those
exponential explosions because
he’s already seen too much

We marks all love life’s sweetness
and its fantasy of immortality
like fuzzy minded dilettantes
whose urge to merge ourselves and
go along with crude power figures,
lets us deny that we’re
small trembling animals

who must decay and die
He was dad—
How could he be dead?
She was mom—
How could she be dead?
The cars, cars, cars
streams of funeral cars,

the raindrops as large
as small dark dots, cars filled
with business acquaintances,
people I’ve never met, with
my friends, relatives, family
all dressed in our best—
random, dry blind forces

like a solid, knotty answer
For us, earthly and heavenly realms
are the same unbroken sequence—
One entrance, many exits, the
perceiving self is nowhere to be
found in this life, nowhere at all
when we forfeit all earthly objects

The objective reality parallels
within our mind, but it’s not the
same as our mind—it was mostly
primal dark with flecks of light to
illuminate the trickster who stares
out at us as though we’re his
shameless mirror, an inner urge

stronger than the mark’s passionate
struggles, stronger than the ugly
sadism of groups of estranged,
distraught mourners who devalue
outsiders and alien lives as we meet
ourselves again and in time in  
thousands of permeable disguises

Old age will do this—
Never a big talker, pain
stuns our mark into silence
She was his mystery vision
who he knew and never knew,
whose amalgam of cells will, as
they must, decay and go still

-June 29, 2019-