namaskar

How lucky to be alive and healthy
and 24 in this golem of a city, my
desire to prove each freedom like
a hungry rat padding through a maze.
How lucky to have found a tribe, each
of us taking a thousand heavy steps
to find each other. With so much
wrong in the world, with our eyes
perpetually stapled to the back of
our bladed shoulders, I hardly stop
to reflect on that initial spark, the
cold tingling behind my forehead
and sternum, the palpable energy
of curious souls thrumming in the
warm sockets of our eyes. Those
moments drift like wind borne from
the lazy flap of butterfly wings, the
tapestry of us rippling in the breezy
caverns of our future. It’s the purest
form of magic, electric and fleeting.
So for these moments, for every
beautiful one: namaskar, the elusive
divinity of my soul bows and kisses
the pale fish of your restless feet.

D

If I could roll the tape back, the compressed celluloid
of memory blurring as it is shuttled through
the intricate guts of hippocampal projectors,
I think I’d sit another spell in the old wooden
swing of your grandmother’s garage and smoke
a few menthols with you. I’d choose one of those
winter nights we were both home from college,
the carousel of seasons marked by our pilgrimage
to the lovely simplicity of our motherland,
the passage of time discernable by the silent
multiplication of empty bottles you bought from
Mutt’s down the road. Every conversation,
boiled down to its bones, about proving who
was more alive, measuring our vitality in rehearsed
stories about the sex and booze we had while away,
the lies slipping like smoke from our mouths as if
we were two dragons comparing their wealth from
atop massive heaps of fools gold. In the soft miasma
of those prolonged December nights, the world
outside the cramped garage was strange and
fantastic as the Twilight Zone, drenched
with the electric purples and blues of an 80s flick,
the snow drifting lazy as fallout to meet the Earth,
gripped with rigor mortis. Your family, a rippling
silhouette in the titian light seeping through the living
room curtains while you steeped in the cold shadows,
all half-lidded eyes and teeth slick with the cartoonish
gleam of Clorox commercials, a dopey little Cheshire
reduction, a simpler version of yourself. Countless
moments to choose from, both of us jabbering as
the cold encroached, the thin atmosphere of aluminum
garage thawed, briefly, by the heat of our turgid exhalations,
by the smoldering snubs of cigarettes in our palms, but
I remember our silences best, those moments when we stared
out to the slushy streets listening to the sleeping giant of the city,
our friendship unknowingly reveling in the beautiful winter of its life.