One, One, Eleven
by Daron Larson
Midnight is inherently unstable,
so it breaks apart into a new year.
Fireworks explode and set the trees ablaze
with the echoing choir of peafowl wails.
The lights of the grid pulse
like ancient campfire embers in the breeze.
On the first day,
a man squats in prayer
by the side of the road,
his car idles beside him,
music spilling out through an open door.
Eyes closed, he directs his pleas
or his grief or his gratitude
toward the ocean, the source of all life.
In the beginning there was nothing,
as you may have heard,
but it keeps breaking apart and coming back together,
grinding down every skeleton and exoskeleton
into smooth sand
for future generations to walk upon
as they gaze outward and inward with wonder.
My skin is ice.
My heart is molten.
My body rings with the joy of all joys
and aches with the ache of all aches.
Every tear has the taste of all tears.
Every smile has the taste of all smiles.
There is no escape, nor any need to keep trying.
May we all give up the fight against
the coils and recoils
along our journey back home.