Déjà vu

I feel certain we’ve done this before,
long ago, unrecalled motes,
ancient, disregarded

These charts we use,
these chants we sing,
no bearing, no azimuth,
no cardinal point,
no way to mark stopping or going

Time is not a river, but an
ocean of boundless currents
the sun wildly spinning,
having lost its nerve,
clouds collapsed into rain,

I hear a song in Arabic,
imagine Peter singing
an invitation to the souls
of the dead, collected, divine

Time beckons, strained through
graveyards, yawning tides
of will and desire, dried up
and blown away, like wisps,
uncertain

Just so, I think of the dead
in their boxes, waxed up,
locked away, waiting for
what? A second coming, a
U-turn from oblivion?

I think of Alcibiades, of Pushkin,
of Camus among the cannibals,
lost in the finding, buried under history
and me, a sentimental fool, adrift

What dreams fall breathless
what lives winched open
for the sake of notoriety.

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