Friday, April 15, 2011

the linguistics of death

in language

tense is the time of action
not the time of death

if there were no past tense
could anyone ever truly


and how would we feel today
if we had no way to put into words
what happened yesterday

last month
last year
or when we were children

why can’t language consistently aspire
to keep us alive

imagine no simple past (he was)
and no past perfect (he had been)

only he is and he will be

in that world our hearts would not ache
the way they now ache, ached,

have ached, will ache, and will have ached

we are bound by finite forms
and conjugations that allow
for the lives of our loved ones

to come to an end

and that makes language useless to explain
the chest-crushing loneliness
and the need to put our rage

into question form

why didn’t he
how come I
when will this

can’t you see that without the past
we would be invincible

love and sorrow can begin in an instant
and yet they take forever to go away

perhaps the only reason to stay alive
from this moment on
is because we are free

for when one has survived the darkest hours
and lost what we have lost
there is nothing left to fear

1 comment:

  1. Life is a perpetual journey in time, past does not exist, present is a transitional state, if we live at all we must live in future... with every breath, live well, let it be!
    Like the poem Hon, hope all is well with you, LOVE:)