This is, as the great poet said, my private note to you in public.
And it is not meant to be a poem.
I can't help but that it comes out this way.
"The important thing is not to think much,
but to love much;
and so, do that which best stirs you to love."
Saint Teresa of Avila
I am upstairs.
I'm by the window,
You know where.
The body remembers what the mind evades.
I stepped onto the runway and I remember I love the ice.
How the cold has outlived everyone.
I love how deathly, suicidally alone I feel.
I love how sharp and adventurous it is.
I love how it made me fall in love with my own life.
I love how it makes me afraid and wanting to run home.
Like a scene in a drama I can't bear to watch,
But won't pass no matter how hard I close my eyes.
I feel everything again.
Walks on forbidden trails near the fumeroles
Overseasoned galley food.
The long line for Sunday waffles and Saturday booze,
Screwtop wine and a pillow on the floor where backward and upside down there's a view to Ob Hill,
The fireside glow of christmas lights strung around ceiling in perpetual daytime and
The last cup of Starbuck's for six-thousand miles.
That even the wind of a killer storm can carry my name
on a trip round Cape Armitage where there is a store
That sells trinkets and furs
Like a walk in the park in a hurricane
Singing out of key songs,
Homeless, gone mad,
I didn't realize how much I missed us here
Until just now.
There's a storm that never forgets
I heard us again in that wind.
If I was the poet (that you say I am)
I'd write about how the eons since God first imagined us
All lead to one heartbeat in the shelter of the fortress built by great men.
And I'd make you imagine what it was like
To fall in love with all the stars and atoms whirling
To dream a kiss Sir Ernest could never imagine
Singing midwinter's songs with his ration of rum
And bread made from rough ground wheat and stale yeast.
The clouds shroud roof of Mt. Discovery.
Black Island cuts the horizon like a loose planetary shard
Intercepted and fallen to Earth on its way to build a new world.
And I know without seeing the path to the dry valleys, and the desolate south.
And I feel the helos thumping out course I will take.
My fortune --anything that a prayer would bring up the manifest
To see my name on it
Buckle five-points beside the pilot and with upward thrust thumb
Launch into the frozen air
Toward whatever -- glorious death.
Because every miracle has it's price.
Don't you see? I could lose everything here. Give it all up to come back to you.
Not because I'm particularly brave.
But because I already did it once.
McMurdo Station - October 2005