THE ETERNITY WE KNOW: TWO POEMS
Sit. Feast on your life. ---Derek Walcott “Love After Love
I. UNTIL MEMORY FADES
Has anyone come back from this defiled formand mapped out ways to get back to that eternity
we claim as heirs to, where days are as chartless
as the river stream that must flow to an endless,
ceaseless fountainhead which has no beginning?
There is no other way back except by destruction.
When every rampart has been carted away, wedo not pine for them like those we cannot lose
because we store them in vaults of our memory:
they are our milestones of an afterlife we choose
to build from achieved desires, fulfilled dreams--
these chambers of a heart that will not crumble.
What, indeed, do we know of eternity? Save this:We are never away from it. Until memory fades.
II. FEAST ON YOUR LIFE
Although this invitation will prolong our waitin the cold antechambers that we surround
ourselves with, we will cautiously accept it.
Why not? Sitting here, staring at a kaleidoscopeof the many faces we have constructed to meet
other faces, I celebrate a love affair with myself.
Who else will do that for me? There were lovers,and there were lovers, but they held on to their
own chisels to pare and scrape their own image
of what they could have and hold not unlikea wild-eyed Pygmalion sculpting flesh onto his one
desire, a Galatea of his rawest wants and dreams.
I will sit and wait for the feast of all feaststo be served on my table, my head on a platter,
my heart seasoning a bowl of hope, a soupçon
of little mercies that lovers often do: a salvingof hurts, a troth of endless fealty, a promise
that the image on the mirror is finally, only mine.
---ALBERT B. CASUGA