Go Lightly

Sometimes the weight of the pen is too much

to pick up, a rusted rail embedded in the ground,

 

so you keep going, walking, looking and listening

for words to lift those bodies buried in your chest

 

as if language can work like a pick and shovel,

make sense of the hole and hard-pan in your throat,

 

somehow levitate and turn this husk of existence

under light like a jeweler examines stones

 

before transforming them into glittering beauty—

you want that untold story we’ll never hear.

 

As you fold your hands, don’t bow your head,

look up, out, through, into . . . the only rules

 

you follow you break . . . sadly we make no

mistakes, we all learn what we need to know, so

 

when that bullet flash ends your sky light and

beating heart, all guitars return to their cases,

 

no weeping tomorrows will be heard, merely

the phantom hum of your amp left on and no

 

forgetting of the questions, the whys—those who

had no idea knew for certain your destination.

 

Like all who labor to ignore the night, go lightly

across this cemetery—look to the sun burning bright.

 

—for Craig and Melissa

Mark Gibbons, October 2018

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