Present

Feeling freedom
is impossible in
time
says my painter
who lives the lie
of making moments
last in
color and tone and
maybe life.
I, agreeing,
nod:
The chains of the past weigh me
down
while the promiscuous
future, my always lover
never ceases to seek to
seduce me.
I am torn
and twisted
between then and when
I am wrapped in your linear
string of fire
and burn but don’t fall into
ashes.
There you hold me almost
lovingly
and I hold you almost
as the Wise Men do
in their wrinkled
scars of life.
I ask again
in my youth and lust
if I may
just try it, freedom, for a little while
borrow it
kiss it
briefly.
And you scream
back at me
in my mirror of
doubt
words I do not know
in a language I hear but do not know.
So I turn
away
my bare back towards
you
and stretch out my
hands towards the world
hold it, cradle it, near my bosom.
And then I set it
down, step
down,
into it
to do life.
Life, after all, is
a verb.
And my heart knows
so is love.
And my painter
knows that
memory,

the pictures we make in our
minds and books
the ones we get
to keep, to hold,
to move forward from past’s
captivity into future’s
promise

memory,
is its past tense
in its most present form.