Give Up

The place the gaze lands
is in one’s control
as is learning everything
within reach
about this here and that
just beyond.
So is what goes into the mouth
what comes out,
the tenor, the grip, the sharpness
of the blade
with which truth is pared.
The fall
onto knees. The plea
and forgiveness.
The bedtime. The book.
The lyrics and even the tune.
Action, stillness
and the flavor of silence.
What is given
away, what is squandered on trinkets,
what is stashed
in the cellar
and forgotten.

even forgetting.

But not what was buried there before,
that is not within one’s control.
Neither the place where the gaze begins
nor the native tongue. Not what is offered
up, how much, and by whom.
Not what goes into his mouth
nor what comes out. Not the shot fired,
its teeth and velocity.
Not geometry. Not ancestry.
Not gravity or the callous arc of cosmic debris.
Not sleep or dreams, the weight of the day,
the insistence of hunger, the volume
of the neighbors. Not the child’s preference
for something entirely different or the echo
of aching for something
entirely gone. The imbalance of desire.
Not the first frost.
Not the one who arrives
or the one who won’t go. Not the departure
of faith.
Not secret worlds.
Not the keeping
of words
or the end of needing

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