A moment

Sometimes I wake with a pit in my throat, an unbreachable crevasse.

Today I was reading about earthquakes and miracles.

I am in a place of silence and warmth. The evening sun is leaving me behind. The flag on city hall, still.

After I graduated from college I spent a semester deferring my student loans with ceramics and an English class at the local junior college. In ceramics I stumbled with lumpy pieces of clay and unyielding wheel, molded in muck with my hands, and was satisfied. I wore overalls which were spattered in slip and felt some vague artistic satisfaction when my bisque came out of the kiln. I still eat from my heavy, badly weighted bowls. Sometimes I felt on fire in English, and sometimes I just felt angry. It was a goodness, a shift for my stagnating brain. Whirling forces willed me
to attend class every day, to argue vociferously with the instructor and other students, one of whom lurked, dark, in the back of the room. When he spoke, it was in slow and measured thoughtful tones. Sometimes I disagreed, sometimes I didn’t. He was a foil to my belligerent, fiery personality. We were black and white.

Sometimes I feel like I am slowly rotting away like the old buildings which surround me, like I am waiting for someone to apply for a grant from city hall and restore my falling facade. Sometimes I feel like I want to lie down in the garden and seep into the earth. Sometimes I am seized with a violent lust for life which threatens to overwhelm me. I walk out in the woods and it is hard not to respect the green things struggling to live, the violent river churning with silt, the whispers from overhead in the forest canopy, the dark earthy humus that litters the ground. I see the storm surge whipping the ocean into froth and I wonder what it looks like when I am not there.

Sometimes I face death with equanimity, assuming it can’t be much different that this, perhaps something calmer, quieter.

But sometimes I realize I am wrong and I seize at life with both hands, terrified at the void that is waiting for us all. My heart aches when I ponder it and I turn away from that which I cannot comprehend before it burns.

Take a moment to remember Adrian Burkey, for he is not alive to remember himself.


Radix omnium malorum cupiditas est.