begin again

begin again
by Ariel Mo


Sunset. A blue sky, and tendrils of pink
rising as dreams from contented sleep:
scrambling to bleach
away every last grain of thought we think
when we think we know our thoughts.

And somber shadows whisper their lullaby
to the old grandfather clock/the gem-encrusted watch/
the space grey phone—oh, let me wash
my hand, my fingers, my eyes
clean of self-evaluation—

but round and around and around we go
in a circle. Remember the Ferris wheel?
I thought it was real—
and then I woke up—though the vertigo
danced on (get over it), volatile

as ever, deaf as ever
to the ticking of the clock/watch/phone
that’s infested our home
with their tick-tock tick-tock over and over
and under my skin—a quick in-and-out

that never ends. Marimba, Sonic,
Piano Riffs, Old Phone, Doorbell, Waves,
Radar, Typewriter, Radiate:
these imposters of music…
Who knew they’d become my muse?

Don’t stop—keep the momentum
(can I take a nap now?) or you’ll miss the next
and the next next next
stop and be stuck in these humdrum
wastes of mindless hoping.

You’ll fall from grace,
while the numbers (16, 20)
renew (30, 40, 50),
bound to their macabre race,
and leave you tied to Sisyphus’ rock.

Then he’ll drag you up—down—back—
tripping and stumbling over rushing
sand—rasping breaths, clawing—
slicing—carving through cold hard fact
as if that would give in, let you out, let you free.

And oh, let me wash my fingers
clean of Post-Its and Todoists
and those damn reminders—
deadlines lined up in pink lists.
(They lie.)

Sunset. The blue sky calls to me
but tendrils of pink are rising; and so even when
the wind breathes to me
(it’s breathing to you, for you) I can’t bend
and forget. And so we begin