At fourteen, I thought less about the future
and, unaware of Buddhism, lived in the moment.
Even a day was usually unplanned, spontaneous,
open to what the universe had planned for me.
If life is like a sonnet, the turn occurred when
the future became my focus and the present
rushed by out of control, and the past
became nostalgia, a read book fondly remembered.
At fourteen, I believed, without proof, in eternity.
The days unfolded unbidden and I was content
in thinking at some point I would be able to see
That fourteen-year-old’s future is my present,
slipping away from what I wanted it to be,
and even partially my past, now already spent.
I launch the time machine by opening
this case of photographs locked against time
present and future. Even places (Newark, Paris)
frozen sepia and white 100 years removed
marveling at light and air from 2017.
The battery in my watch is dead,
so all day it has been 10:15.
The hands reclining, head up and napping.
At noon, I glanced at its face –
time for coffee, or time for bed.
Waking in a feverish afternoon and thinking,
“It’s much too early to get up.”
Realizing the sun is somehow now misplaced,
rising in the west, I weakly stand.
I’m a sundial gnomon. My shadow warped.
We paint, take the photo, record light
changing around us, trying desperately to catch
the moment, hold it for the future,
get a second chance – and always fail.
The moment changed. The artist more changed.
“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.” ~ Anaïs Nin