Love & Death
It would be good to believe it,
love stronger than death, even
without an after. A reincarnation,
a transmigration of the soul—
I’d come back as a Bangkok temple dog,
or a bug, a Gregor of the New World—
might not be enough. Does love
transcend its moment, printed
on the current of the world?
Can touch be a reach beyond us,
is a lover somehow real,
stepping through the mirror
of desire? Or is it the moment’s
inscrutability, mapping a simple
sequence of the now? Perhaps
it’s what Taoists mean by alchemy,
not a foundry but life inhabiting
the thinnest delta-t of time
purified. Frankl detected it
in the camps, the one thing
that keeps an individual alive:
a memory, incorruptible time,
the face of a wife, dead or alive,
for an instant it did not matter.
The space of love, of parks,
of rooms, of avenues that lead
to no place, really. The living
that leaves lived-in traces.
It would be good to believe
love fuses itself with things, is
stronger than mere ardency, or
redemption. Not that we’re born to it,
crawling out of the clay in doubt,
but born to more, the outside of
this awkward skin-canoe of self.
Compassion, Buddha said,
frees the rats on the wheel,
and as we walk across the street
between red & green lights,
that tensile line
that runs from birth to death,
that is good enough,
it takes us to the threshold
of all the rest.
George Moore: My poetry has been published in The Atlantic Monthly, Poetry, North American Review, Orion, Colorado Review, Nimrod, Meridian, Chelsea, and last year online, with featured spots in The Centrifugal Eye and Blue Fifth Review this last fall, and other works in Apparatus, Eclectica, Fact-Similie, Cortland Review, Ashé, Driftwood, Tangent, Ranfurly Review, Amarillo Bay, Café Irreal, Zone, ditch, Diode, among others. I was nominated twice last year for a Pushcart Prize, and twice for “Best of the Web,” and have been a finalist for The National Poetry Series, the Richard Synder Memorial Prize, The Brittingham Poetry Award, and The Anhinga Poetry Prize. My collections include Tree in the Wall (CDchapbooks, 2006), an e-Book, All Night Card Game in the Back Room of Time (Poetschapbooks.com 2008), Headhunting (Mellen, 2002), The Petroglyphs at Wedding Rocks (Mellen, 1997), and The Long Way Around (Wyndham Hall, 1992). I teaching literature and writing at the University of Colorado, Boulder.