from the “ Periodic Table of Poetry” series (#085, At)
(with references to the poem “Fantastic Car Crash”, 7/3/98)
Everything shatters with you, you know.
I am left picking up the pieces
after dealing with only fractional amounts of you.
I’ve only been able to infer what you’re like
by knowing your brethren, as everyone around me
and all the gapers gawk, as the decay grows.
In your twisted way, you come from the decay
of others… And what do you leave in your wake?
More radioactive destruction, as all around you
slows down to stare, until your instability
corrodes you down to the basics in the world.
And yeah, what was left of you after you were gone
was so much more stable that you were,
but it was only after so much of your destruction
that you left blood dripping down to the street.
So, all I can think is that this continual decay
is your contribution, this radioactive
short-term flash of decay, is you.
I’ve tried to learn, I’ve tried to study these
microscopic parts of you to make sense of you…
But whether or not you ever leave enough,
well, from what you’ve shown me, I have to keep
reminding myself that despite your destruction,
despte this decay of yours, I have to keep going.
Because, when it comes to you,
when it comes to what you do…
This happens all the time.