Epiphany (For Alexis)
By K. Morris Kurzman
Thirsty Earth burns callused heels
That tread its septic expanse.
A dread torments me, taunts me, haunts me--
Mocks my quest for order, reason--
"Out of season. Here, good sir,
There's naught but dust and dirt and death
And rust and age and hollow boulders,
Bitter salt, and sour tears
And long lost years like candy rotted,
Melted, lost in moldered sand"
Just then a hand upon my shoulder
Makes me turn (my smoldered feet rebel)
But turn I do, and there before me--
(More in memory than self)
My other self-- a friend I knew.
(We grew apart, as years tripped by)
He smirks at me, I grin a bit
(His wit was always kin to mine.)
I tousle soft his golden crop.
We laugh, we joke a spell.
"And all is well?" I ask him faintly.
(Fearing "dread" who taunts me so
Will hear my whispered words.)
"My friend," he sighs, (he's nearly crying),
"Time runs out and soon will end.
I have a moment-- brief and precious--
Then I go again forever.
Most have gone, as I have gone
We've severed all our ties to 'now'
But some remain, as you remain.
They bow to time's continued rule.
You are a fool to wait and stay--
Your end is certain-- gray and bland.
So take my hand, I'll show you how
To leave the now-- it's far behind me.
You will find (as I have found)
You have no ground for fear."
I looked around. The Earth was barren
Desert land- just stark and vapid.
I reached, I grasped to touch his hand--
He offered rapid restful freedom.
My hand to his had almost reached,
When she appeared behind me.
With silent words, and boisterous eyes
She tried to teach me life again.
An instant passed (or maybe two)
Too late, though, now for me--
I turned again in violent search of
He who promised peace--
But he was gone, as quick as death--
Forever soft and silent.
I turned again to look for her,
But she was gone as well.
I turned about, about again
And laughed and cried and breathed and sighed and loved and warred and lived.