Monday, September 18, 2017

The First Person Who Will Live to Be One Hundred and Fifty Years Old Has Already Been Born by Nicole Sealey

The First Person Who Will Live to Be One Hundred and Fifty Years Old Has Already Been Born
Scientists say the average human
life gets three months longer every year.
By this math, death will be optional. Like a tie
or dessert or suffering. My mother asks
whether I’d want to live forever.
“I’d get bored,” I tell her. “But,” she says,
“there’s so much to do,” meaning
she believes there’s much she hasn’t done.
Thirty years ago she was the age I am now
but, unlike me, too industrious to think about
birds disappeared by rain. If only we had more
time or enough money to be kept on ice
until such a time science could bring us back.
Of late my mother has begun to think life
short-lived. I’m too young to convince her
otherwise. The one and only occasion
I was in the same room as the Mona Lisa,
it was encased in glass behind what I imagine
were velvet ropes. There’s far less between
ourselves and oblivion—skin that often defeats
its very purpose. Or maybe its purpose
isn’t protection at all, but rather to provide
a place, similar to a doctor’s waiting room,
in which to sit until our names are called.
Hold your questions until the end.
Mother, measure my wide-open arms—
we still have this much time to kill. 


1 comment:

  1. Weeping . . . stunned at the beauty and power of this one. Rendered tender and invincible in 27 lines. Agape. Awash. Alight.

    I try to visit your blog every day as I struggle through the nightmares of our times. Poetry is one of the most powerful art forms in all human history, and in its grace, skill, and terrible might it invites us to see us as we are: luminous moments of memory trying to fulfill an electric journey of love through time.

    Thank you for what you do, and thank you to the poets who paint our minds so vividly that we know color in all its complexity.

    Still learning,