I remember the first time I realized it
was beating. Yes, the spine beats too
from the inside out just like
the heart. The beating of the spine is
an articulate rhythm of longing. It is a pounding with
words attached—words that are engraved on your vertebrae.
Your future as part of your history.
Every potential moment perdure.
The spine is where the desire for a life less ordinary lives.
It was November of 1989 and I was in a movie theater
waiting for a film to start.
A film starring Shirley MacLaine and Julia Roberts
and other actors I can’t remember. These details
are not important. What matters is that it came to me then,
sitting in that theater all by myself.
I dreamed up the person I wanted to be
and I set about becoming her.
Promising myself I would never lead
an inconsequential life.
This is one promise
I have kept.
Knowing who you want to be
is often more important than knowing what.
We all have this wisdom
living in the bones of our backs
some dying a little every day
to get out.
It is impossible to be great by accident.
And the bones always ask for more.
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