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If Time Wasn't Linear

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If Time Wasn't Linear

If time wasn’t linear
and life was an orbit,
pain couldn’t make me old
and age wouldn’t sound morbid.

I’d know every ending
would only bring pause;
that birth was just as relevant
as any loss.

I’d know eyes are subjective,
and the mind is a trap
disfiguring reality
like a folded map. 

Doubt will provide distance
like a neighbor’s fence
as pictures and frames
attempt to capture innocence.

And love is the answer
that will set you free,
unless you’re a hostage
in its captivity:

begging for release
or at least a transfer
like the sweetest memory
too painful to remember.

But life lasts longer
than the gifts we have to give
and it’s not about what’s lost,
but what you can’t live with

that ultimately will dictate
the silence and the sorrow;
that leaves you grieving yesterday
and dismissing tomorrow.

You followed the rules;
you kept your hands to yourself.
But you’re the one person
you never knew how to help.

You say people are leaves:
they change color and fall,
and just before their death,
they’re the center of it all  -

the years of emotion
that finally surface,
and, in a brief moment,
give those years purpose.

And we mourn a death
or a life is celebrated.
And we rot in the ground
or we’re reincarnated.

The weak and compassionate
struggle to move on
as a cycle returns to its origin
and time moves along.

Two generations later,
bones lay in a coffin
beneath an engraved stone
that’s nearly forgotten. 

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