Born Alive

They found me hanging in the basement too soon
I had not even begun to make room for them within the world that lies within me,
a world which I do not begin to understand.
In those days I used to covet daylight like a miser covets his meager fortune.
The sinking of the sun sent shocks of electric heat down my chest and into my limbs
as the world, red and black, took on the ethereal quality of the unreal, lifting and unsettling, dreamlike,
a sensation which I would come to associate with being drunk,
like vertigo, and that is how I have always experienced guilt
so I do my best to avoid it.
The worlds I built were mine alone but they were good and beautiful
arising from a genuine love for life untempered by life itself
like cinema and dreaming, two things which I have always loved,
the sort of blind courage only a child is capable of, but it’s the reason our lives used to be so much more meaningful, deep with color when we were young.
We were born alive. It was the world that took it away from us.
But it had to so that we could learn that beyond the little hill where we used to play
and mom’s rose bushes
there is a mountain to be climbed
and you can see god and all the angels dancing from that place, suspended out of the world like a rock in the clouds quietly observing time
that passes below and parts without touching you,
and when you come back down from the mountain all the things that you’ve seen all the days of your life seem strange,
what was once a garden shed is now a red rooftop in a green valley,
every sidewalk shines with the light of the knowledge of what kind of beautiful world you live in,
and you will never not know that again.
And from the moment we have glimpsed it we know that we are mortals
for we cannot keep it in our sight. The hunter pursues his prey
but his prey escapes him.
Standing before the mountain we become clay figurines
ourselves and everything else not even large enough to see.
The war calls to us from our dreams because as surely as we love our lives we know that we must die to live them,
infinity, a pit, sinks all that rests upon it. Every house which is built on the sinking sands of immortality crumbles, every thought drained to a negation before the black void of our bewilderment.
And if we cannot be weak enough to pretend not to see the charging horses until the very moment that they are at our throats
then we must dig our own graves
and lie down in them.
One must imagine that
even had
the divine commandment
not been given,
the children must eventually
have driven themselves
out of Eden.
We believed ourselves our own before we ever asked for truth
but even before we knew that we lived in a world, the world had possession of us,
for us it was like a wild animal or a storm, ever changing, incomprehensible, undeniable.
Our parents were gods.
And if we speak a single word now, it is to say that without truth we have no selves. It’s too late to turn agnostic now. We’ve already asked the question
and there’s no turning back;
the shield of our ironic detachment has been fatally cracked by the insincerity of our best efforts at insincerity.
And if we cannot find something we can care about more than happiness now, then we will never be happy.
And if we cannot breathe the being of the one we love so deep that we
suffocate for lack of the air of ourselves
then we will never be ourselves.
That is what it means to be mortal.
The fire we caught on the mountaintop will burn forever in our souls. If we will not share in the glory of the day, then we will die of disappointment.
If we will not share in the glory of the day, then we will die of disappointment.
This is our rallying cry. We cannot escape it, for the voice with which it cries
is our own.
Like lovers swearing fealty
if not to one another then to no one
so are we with the sublime.
Even in our fear of disappointment we love it.
Even in our jealousy we love it.
We are blessed and cursed tot love it.

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