They exist in every town of my body
Slouched in untidy corner pubs
Capping dead end streets which lead to the river –
Nursing flat beers and an ageless whiskey, or two, or three
Waiting to be called back to the Lord,
Our Savior. In the muscular toes
Of varsity divers, earnest and of age, perched on high
With little or nothing to lose,
Unconcerned with their daily
Feats of inertia or mass and the speed of light squared –
Shooting out and forward a massive body
Many times their size
Born ultimately to fall and stop
At gravity’s behest.
They’re there –
Just below the blanket of my body’s
Largest organ, impatiently waiting
For a nick, a gash or a wound
To issue forth, unruly
Before that, they hear others of their kind
Whiz past the surface of my mind’s skin
And can only bulge and pimple up
In bumps of sympathetic swell:
Seething, jealous and understanding.
When they are born
Some have an ant’s life of cause
Some the deceptive luster of dutied drones –
Workers for the hive’s queen
Or in benediction of Holy See.
Some are archangels
Others, solar flares
Singeing far-off places
Of astronomic space.
Many will feel worthless
And strain to go on.
Many will find a place,
A mate, a home.
| Juan-Paolo Perre