Just before the world ends, just a split second before
I’ll have the lightness of your footfall, the way they touch the forest,
Of your fingers strumming the sand into a music filled seashore
Pressed here, and here, on my life and body, indelibly pressed.
So that even if I’m blasted apart, and the universe lies in ruins
That gentleness will remain and come back when it forms once more
As my shattered being coalesces into a desert plant, or thins
Into a red stream choked with mud somewhere on a valley floor.
And even if the universe reforms, but this body never returns with the rest.
It cannot be pieced back together again as it now fondly imagines.
It’ll still be there, your tenderness, in the leaves your hands caressed,
The way you breathed on a dandelion; as the primal slurry begins.
Many universes and many worlds, many of my lives and bodies
Burn a dim flame inside their skin folds, like fireflies encased in a mist
Like the glint of a lamp glowing through rich, lacy draperies
Because you’d put down your light on a sill once, long ago, unnoticed.
Each body of mine, each world and life that I’ve come to inhabit
Remembers without distinct details that flame tilting in the breeze
And the incandescent cup your fingers formed at once to safeguard it
The compassionate curve of those knuckles in memories within memories.
If it turns out that this is the last time the worlds have come to be;
To hold my life in their marbled hollows, to dust my limbs with their grit
It will still remain preserved somewhere beyond the void of eternity
The way you rested your hand on that sill, the way the flame was lit.
Small territories of thoughts that my lives have rushed to occupy -
A patch of land with its weeds, or a green, still pool of algae
Recognise the way the grasses wave, the moves of the dragonfly
As she skims the surface and rests her wings on a purple water-lily.
All of the notions that they’ve grown, from ancient ages to this,
Know that their growth is from how you choose to lie
How your fingers play among the grasses as they reminisce,
Your elbow cradled by the dirt as entire worlds go by.
If it should happen that this world is the last transition I witness,
The last outpouring of silence, the last outstanding edifice;
Your distracted warmth will still be there, your casual tenderness,
When no lives and no transitions can be coaxed out of the abyss.