oblivion obliged

When Midas asked Silenus what fate is best for a man, Silenus answered: “Pitiful race of a day, children of accidents and sorrow, why do you force me to say what were better left unheard! The best of all is unobtainable—not to be born, to be nothing. The second best is to die early.”
– Will Durant (The Story of Philosophy)

oblivion_obliged

Whose torn bolt
was released
on the curvature of time,
who left this mass
of obscurity as a stone
in the sky,

have I begun
to carve enough
misery

from this chunk of night,
or designed
a chorus of smoke.

Its slanting invasion
made us embrace
like twins of twilight
and the irony

of it all
we are abundance
in its thirst,
dancing like swirls
of sweetness in its mouth.

To be happy mud
smeared
on your breasts, I said.

But I could hear
you muttering
the wisdom of Silenus.

Unable to rephrase
the meaning of silence

we laid still
like two
immobile spots
of darkness.

 

 

Contemporary Poetry

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