“Lie down and look up at the ceiling and breathe with those curiously fragile lungs of yours and remind yourself: Don’t worry. Don’t worry. All is as it was meant to be. It was meant to be lonely and terrifying and unfair and heaving. Don’t worry.”
– The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives in Your Home, Night Vale #31.5,”Condos” (via elucipher)
Were I Not Frail and Half Broken Inside
Were I not frail and half broken inside,
I wouldn’t be thinking of them, who are, like me, half broken inside.
I would not climb the cemetery hill by the church
To get rid of my self pity.
Michaels who lost every battle,
Lie under crosses with their dates of birth and death. And who
Is going to express them? Their mumblings, weepings, hopes, tears of humiliation?
In hospital muck and the smell of urine,
With their weak and contorted limbs,
And eternity close by. Improper. Indecent.
Like a dollhouse crushed by wheels, like
An elephant trampling a beetle, an ocean drowning an island.
Our stupidity and childishness do nothing to fit us
For this variety of last things.
They had no time to grasp anything of their individual lives,
Any principium individuationis.
Nor do I grasp it, yet what can I do?
Enclosed all my life in a nutshell,
Trying in vain to become something
Completely different from what I was.
Thus we go down into the earth, my fellow parishioners,
With the hope that the trumpet of judgment will call us by our names.
Instead of eternity, greenness and the movement of clouds.
They rise then, thousands of Sophies, Michaels, Matthews,
Marias, Agathas, Bartholomews.
So at last they know why
And for what reason?
(I first heard this poem read by Robert Hass on the NPR program Fresh Air, on September 21st, 2001.)