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NOTHING LASTS LIKE SMOKE

Yesterday’s breakfast, the fantasies from the day before
Drift like smoke into the empty air.
Our life is like the scrim in an opera
Giving the impression of a seamless drama,

But the stage is struck every night,
By morning we are another person,
Swirling energy with vast spaces,
A part of a whole tapestry of light
Woven by the Master.

Even the image “tapestry of light”
Doesn’t hold.
It is as flimsy as one frame
Of a B-movie from 1930,
That no one remembers.
The stars are dead.

After our deaths who remembers?
Maybe the grandchildren—
But the world continues to change.
By 50, do you think of your grandparents
More than twenty minutes a year?

Even the great fortunes
Handed down in trusts
Have perhaps a picture in a mansion
Of the sober capitalist whose name is nothing more
Than a paragraph in a book.

Like falling leaves, our lives are spent.
We spin face down into the sidewalk,
Then fall apart and become part of the soil,
Home for insects and flowers.

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