Shedding My Bones
by Notty Bumbo, 2016
I stood there on that distant beach,
Flooded by all my storms of fear and wonder.
The mountains at my back
Framing my trembling shoulders
In another sorry attempt to expiate time,
Repeatedly break the glass of my forgotten self
Against those subducted edges of a world
I sought refuge within, from, beyond,
Hoping some corner of the truth
Might one day be granted.
This is where I have gone
To find one worthy witness,
To take the swaying forests inside my days,
Hold the frail light steady
Over the book I'd come to write.
Running from, toward, through,
What we all do to flee our dread
If, when, however we can,
Pass through our chameleon times,
Shed all our false and felonious skins,
Walk even one day inside our struggling naked heart,
And little more than that,
On some beach, some lonely rooftop,
Bridges between the golden city
And our hidden, shattered eternities,
Follow the faint musics
We thought our childhoods promised us,
Into the deeper caverns of constantly broken trust.
How we thought ourselves immune,
Above and beyond the horizons that all beings approach,
No tender regard owed those who fell to the side,
We drank heavily the spirits of delirium
And believed it our due.
But standing there, in that moment,
The wind salting my illusions,
Removing the bones and false visions
Of my final seconds of youth,
I saw how pain becomes our guide,
No matter how we might flee it's bellowing harmony,
How dreams are always formless
Except in the reflected knowledge of grief.
How I might stand there again,
In that same damp sand,
And be still another, and another,
And still remain standing in my truth.
How though it required a lifetime of fading anger to reach that place,
And another to return with my golden, broken vessel,
I could make no claim
To understand everything and nothing,
Only acknowledge how I was emptied and filled,
Again, again, and again,
With those simple suspended silences
Of each hopeful and unobtainable dream
I might yet be granted
Before the end of days.