Jan Sand

(February 2 1926 / USA)

Frayed At The End


Along the way
One collects.
Sparsely,
If one has the wit to realize
The trip may be long
And pockets meanly shallow.

Youth and simple fascination
And an innate sense of order
Folds acquisitions into sense
Which fit most sensibly to stores.
But time overwhelms
Most economic husbandries
With plenitude.

Memories ferment and melt
To Pollock patterns.
Order and disorder meld.
Stars and tissue paper,
Unstrung pearls and graveled skins
Of tangerines long consumed.
Furniture no longer squats
In set configurations.
Curtains sag. Corners soften,
Faired by dust and crumbs
Into spider playgrounds
Where choruses of flies ensnared
Hum in symphony.

Dying must,
I belatedly perceive,
Be approached with caution.
Powers fade and disappear
In minute secret phases,
Like coins percolating
Through a pocket hole.

Distant objects blur.
The spines of books
No longer shout
What lies within.
Their colors smear
As by a moistened thumb
Into colored cacophones.
Sounds struggle through
A buzz and whistle static.
Anaesthetic numbness
Gloves my fingertips.
A ghostly dental shot
Has thickened up my mouth and tongue.


Soon I must be enwrapped
In white sterility
Within a chrome corral
Where hungry tubes
Will suck my openings
And pump intrusive stews
Bestowing to my life
A marginal extension.

Steaming from my center,
Like a lump of melting CO two,
Cold fear billows out
White clouds to lift me up
And off to nothingness.

Submitted: Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Edited: Tuesday, May 21, 2013

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