Hello, little pain-seed, newly lodged
behind my left eye.
Probably, even you don’t know
what’s next: will you break
open, send down roots, sprouting into
or shrivel, shrink, dissolve,
a passing ache passingly forgotten?
After all, not everything serves
as the start of something.
Mostly, in fact, it doesn’t.
Mostly, it has to be nothing,
as with the (no doubt) dozens of zealots who,
travelling the Damascus Road that particular year,
suffered a twitch, a twinge. Only Saul
was struck; the rest continued on, arrived.
Mostly, we’re all just way-stations
for migratory spasms and premonitions.
We fall with frequency and swiftness
for lovers we’ll never even meet.
We sit down to pen treatises that might as well
be scrawled in disappearing ink.
Which doesn’t mean, of course,
that now and then, something might not
get through: a death, a god, a love, a line or two.
So here at this point, small pain, I’ll humor you.
Claire Bateman | Mudlark No. 44 (2011)
Contents | Ode to Other People’s Realities