“Settle It in Yourself”
Settle it in yourself who I am
And who I’ll always be, whether in the present
Mist that veils your eyes or at some future bridge, a resident
Of residue and exigency, a necessity for the nonce, only. The man
I am abides the evident and final verdict.
You’ll turn the page, perhaps,
And probably discard the volume on your lap
For tomes of better binding, fresher leaves, a sweeter sap
And staple than maple or hemlock; a shot of déjà vu within a wider cap.
Still, it falls to me to rest within the afterglow, abide
The whole, and to these ends both of us were born.
Forgetfulness is sound advice; while in the cage a single page is torn
From some eternal book and words enough remain to satisfy
The need to let it be a test between us, firmly stated, fully formed:
We face the same eternity and once created cannot be outworn.
…painting by Christopher Zhang…