today’s word: vocation

vocation:  a divine or impassioned calling to follow a particular life path; entry into religious life; a devoted profession; a strong impulse to follow a chosen and beloved activity. 


           —for DFW and all the others

Here is where they find themselves.
Life is a gift to receive or reject.
Everything counts and is measured.
A measured thing can break or be broken.

I’ve heard of skirmishes on slippery slopes,
of missteps on chessboard terrains,
a friend who forever stares at a bowl of pears.

The plunge pulls at him with the weight
of crushing gravity. He rearranges phrases
like nick-knacks in a barren room. He intends
to untie the ground, let it float, shred memories
into ticker-tape.  Scenes flash as sweat plasters
his face, he opens the door and releases shame
like a dog shaking filth after dancing in mud.

Pausing over dishes in the sink, she mutters
a bloody oath. She will fend off onerous tides,
crush this puffed-up orb, with its soft carnage center.
There is a faint truce. A needle descends. The plunge
strums her strings with its perfect chord .

They have crisscrossed the undertow and revel in its pledge.
Piecemeal, they concede that obstacles are footless,
one more path opens readily. The list of accomplices is long
and goes on and on— poets, musicians, petty thieves—
and the methods innumerable. Hangings and overdoses,
poisonings and slittings, ovens and drownings,
gunshots and jumpings, so many choices.

The past is always present. Transience mocks
every endeavor. When suicide is the vocation,
life tilts in that direction.

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