We Try to Matter
We try to preserve it, our story, we try to matter. Life is a series of little attempts. Not just now, but forever, we believe that slick technology or really rich posole, or the right lover at the right hour with the right. . . what ? . . . astrology sign (?) will make us make a mark
in someone else’s mind and then we will be remembered? (Or this poem.) So simple.
It’s the chilies. Good posole boasts three
different kinds. The ancho – holy shit that chili
talks to you, but the jalapeño, that one slides
in like a dolled-up date in a downtown bar
then burns. Makes you bleat like a goat.
A moment, remembered. Then New Mexican red,
as rich and as rosy as the land outside Hatch, home of pods
and powder and where you put yourself on your guests’
tongues and your legacy is savored. You will never
really die now. You are a tale
built on the foundation of taste buds.
And they never forget.
Or it’s ’saving.’ Saving on drives. Hard drives
and floppy drives and jump drives and thumb
and 3.5″ drives, cd drives, and we are saved on
cyberspace. We save our stories, our lives our
letters our loves our lusts and then we have
legitimacy. Piles. Printed or in space
we control our deaths our graves we manipulate
these miniature suitcases, these stacks
of who we are. Over and over we hit save or save as
or forward or copy and find
false confidence in the eternity that a machine furnishes
hoping it will make up for the forever our flesh cannot.
Or it’s the match, the ad, the outfit or introduction
professing all that you are, certain your impression will snatch
the heart of another, a dream that their desire
“looking for a serious relationship”
will fit yours, then score! your forever
is fastened. Yes. In someone else’s perception
of whatever forever is. I guess. Very short
or truly immeasurable. The promise provided
muddles the inevitable. Your own demise.
But dying as a partner means you might still live,
and the notion of your permanence is un-
compromised, it rests safely in hands
that are unattached
to your own body.
Maybe it’s a footprint in the ice-laden snow
the only honest story I ever tell
crisp as sunlight on a train track
for it will certainly melt, vanish like a faint,
never having existed nor will it again.
Climbing the mountain in winter’s forest
on a trail as fresh as someone else’s tracks
renders beautiful the impermanence
of this trek. A spring thaw reveals–
in puddles so muddy they catch
your boots no matter how deeply etched
the gripping tread on new rubber soles–
nothing remains, look, where is
last year’s path, gone, look how vacant
this journey really is
of memories and tomorrows.
We travel motivated by tomorrow or yesterday.
Our legacy rarely sealed as straight as Sunday,
it wobbles like a cheap zippered carry on bag
unevenly packed. Time relies on nothing. Nothing
to hold onto. Now – absent of death
resides in the future or the past.
We kid ourselves. Thinking we matter.
Thinking death will offer our story to the living.
That they will find us, still alive, somewhere.
In the soup pot. Cyberspace. Footprints.
Men seeking women.