O Postumus, tell our mutual friend
That the years and days are long. They are
An Ourobourous, unending worm which feeds, stretching always
Stretching back, devouring all the works and days of hands and
Love and smiling. O Postumus,
Heartache is a thing of geography, I think.
Theodicy has to do with how and why the worm eats;
I only know that it does.
O Postumus, tell our mutual friend that the wrinkling and pressing of
Age is the end, the troubled moment in the dark, leaning against the wall is
The Beginning, when a word burrows in your ear like an egg planted by a neglectful
Serpentine mother finds warm delightful nourishment in flesh and spirit.
I think that heartache is two fold (evil things rarely reach three):
It is Geographic and it is Geometric, it is point and line.
It is a location, and let us not linger there, clutching at burnt
Odds and Ends of Life, the Measurements of coffee spoons and the numbers of
Counters and scales that wind up or down.
Stepping is difficult without pain, but the road gets better.
Or rather the body becomes more able to bear horror, Postumus,
For that is what is required of it-- but once we leave the place of Aching
We find that it fades out of sight, becomes a mockery of ourselves:
Dust and Shadow. We may choke or fear the growing at noon, but it is only
But the worm we never escape until death.
O Postumus, tell our friend that the man who has slain that snake
Comes swiftly. I beg him sometimes to come and
End the world, but then I say as Augustine
But not yet.
For the time is not yet right: Ache must remain and scar us more, and we
Must bear it, learn to endure it, so that
When the day comes we may hope to rejoice in that terrible light and not
Be ashamed, for I would have death before dishonor.
For heartache we can escape in the moment, but it
Is also in the ground, in the dust,
And we will never escape the womb of the earth which is dust.
Though perhaps, my friend,
We may evade it for some time, and glide on hot desert winds of
Whim and affection.