Take the time we were all in bed after a day
At the lake, where the smell of fresh sheets
Mingled with the dead fish, weed, and beer
Rising from our skin as we drifted to sleep
In a nest, and I dreamt we were wanted,
Running through the woods for dear life
(Because we are together) breathless,
And when we rest, I stay up all night
Fighting to keep my eyes open as morning
Comes, not for fear of being caught,
But that sleep would take the way I feel,
All our futures folded in on the past,
Leaving a tangle of echoes in the present.
We are a funeral pyre and a bonfire,
The whole is not the sum of its parts,
The parts contain the whole,
And the whole contains the parts—
There is nothing but the mountain of us,
A flare of light, and this empty awareness—
Ghost platitudes of the aboriginal star.
I still hear, but can’t remember who,
Laughed through their teeth as they
Bit my ear and tickled me awake
For farting and hogging all the room.
Seeing too much is seeing too little—
The sun in your eye is unfathomed time
With no regard for who and what remains,
An unending arrow of irrevocable loss.
Aaron Fagan was educated at Hampshire College and Syracuse University. He is the author of Garage (Salt Publishing, 2007) and Echo Train (2010).