No more than say a pair of boots records in its wear the life you live in them, no more than an afternoon
spent with a lover keeps on, in reality, long after parting, even if it feels that way.
You go from here and there to there and back, each time returning with a little less to show for it, little to
show but the dumbest of datum, but no one cares to see that, because who would?
Just imagine: you could have been caught staring too long at a beautiful woman, as often you are; been
stabbed in a knife fight or thrown in jail, either of which are always but one bad decision away; or stood
in line in the rain for tickets to Macbeth, as you have more than once.
What difference does what we think about how these get inscribed inside a disappearing hour make?
What difference whether or not you believe this to be a broken and wounded world, [or] that cosmic time
is a phantom of true time, [or] that we live in an umbratile interval between creation in its fullness and the
nothingness from which it was called?
Something is probably going to happen, because nothing truly does want to erupt into something.
That’s nature. That we are composed out of stardust, that we burn away our measurable half lives right on
schedule—this tells us nothing of ultimate interest.
You can go in search for whatever you think you’ve lost, and probably you should. No one takes or even
wants advice, not really, or else you would already be here with me.
John Estes directs the Creative Writing Program at Malone University in Canton, Ohio. He is the author of Kingdom Come (C&R Press, 2011) and two chapbooks: Breakfast with Blake at the Laocoön (Finishing Line Press, 2007) and Swerve (Poetry Society of America, 2009), which won a National Chapbook Fellowship.