Limping Towards Infinity
Before the sun and old age dawned,
I crashed, half asleep, into the dark-
obscured, jutting corner of a wall
and broke, or nearly broke, a toe.
The wall a jolt, though accidental,
into senescence, almost as sure
as the hormone blasts that startled breasts
and adolescence into excitement.
The brain knows finitude. The heart does not.
24,000 sunrises. How many
more? The wall a reminder of other
hard stops on the limping way to infinity.
After W. Somerset Maugham
Plump Death, on his day off,
wanders the Souk, straightens his bow tie,
stops in shock when he sees the Servant,
who shrieks in fright and flees through the maze
of market alleys to disappearance.
Master, Master! I’ve just seen Death.
Let me ride to Samarra, out of sight.
The Master, annoyed, finds Death at coffee,
one white-linened leg crossed neatly over
the other. Sorry, says Death. I didn’t
mean to stare at him, scare him
half—he laughs—to death. He straightens
his tie again, takes a sip
of coffee. I was simply surprised
to see him here, because—he opens
his appointment book—I’m scheduled
to meet him this evening. In Samarra.