This Is Your Life

How sad it must be to live in this amazing plentitude
Of objects that need you, of acts to be willed,
Of words waiting for someone to say them and mean them,
And thoughts to be believed, and loved ones to come home to,
And lungs standing by for that deep breath in the morning
When they're glad you're alive, what could possibly
Be sadder, even your sadness without you
Couldn't begin to exist. I know how you feel
Greeting the mailman in the morning, with a smile
On your face, and a pain in your heart, and a slight nod
Of the head that could only be
Your head, that nods an acknowledgement
Of its existence as yours. I know what it means
To buy a paper at a newsstand, using coins
That must be your coins, mere tokens that without you
Would have no one to value
The subsistence you lend them, and to sit down
On a park bench, in relief or in misery, to be seated
In a seat now known only
As your seat, and to read there
What the news says only by
Speaking to you.
If you live in a building, it must be lived in by you.
If your key fits the door there, that could only your door.
If you hold yourself at arm's length, if even the arm
Seems peculiar, that distant sense
Of existing coming
Home to you is yours. Don't feel alone
In bearing the weight that you
Alone bear, I too am sole support
Of an existence I'm on loan to, I too have a face
That could only be my face, and a shy smile
That must be my smile, and a pain
In the heart that could pain
Only my heart, a sad ache
Just like your ache, only
This one isn't yours. I too hear a voice
And think of it as my voice, I too
Have spoken out, and heard myself
Spoken out to, and my thoughts
Sound like your thoughts, only yours
All sound like yours.
How sad it must be for you then
To join me on a park bench, as though my seat
Could be your seat, as though my trees were in bloom
And your trees were among them, and the wonder
Of being alive could engender a face
Smiling between us, instead of the slight nod
That is my own sad acknowledgement
Of a life that might be your life
Only this one is all mine.

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