“Our very life depends on continuous acts of beginning. But these beginnings are out of our hands; they decide themselves.
Beginning precedes us, creates us. There is nothing to fear in the act of beginning.
More often than not it knows the journey ahead better than we ever could."
John O’Donohue


4 June 2016

Refrain

It has been the same refrain
with almost all my loves,
the same words whispered
in the tangle of twoness,
this strange formula of fatalistic devotion.
I don't think I told you
that you were in company.

"You will be the end of me."

The words address a stranger.
I search my reflection for anything
more dangerous than unshakable youth,
desire and tears equally ready,
my flesh more pulsing heart
than fortress.
No one there is peddling extinction.

To be sure, there are the wild thoughts
disordering the dark libraries of my mind.
Not so uncommon.
And besides, they demand ink,
not blood.

So who, exactly, will be the end of whom?

And what is that end anyway
except tremorous beginning,
asking all of the questions again,
the gentle flaying of coming clean
when you thought the game
was to layer compromise on compromise
and forge a life
from the religion of consequences?

Eliot said to hold fast to the end,
if you are fortunate enough to find it
still breathing.
The beginning is there,
and the end again--
home.

But it is not advice
easily taken,
or often.