Even on a good day
it’s hard to describe what I am
or impose upon myself a metaphor.
To say I am a projection or a hologram
presumes I really know what those things are.
I could say I am the gelatinous goop
of butter and spices hanging off
the leftover chicken in the frig.
But that would be too solid.
I could say I am a shadow leading my shadow,
or at best, a visitor from an
alternate world, separated
from everyone else
by the thinnest of transparencies,
pretending I live among the people—
that is, assuming I know myself well enough
to impose even that hint of a shape.
But I don’t, not any more than
I know how to explain this love I feel,
having accepted the fear
that there is no turning back,
whereas everything else is open ended
and this is complete.
I used to know what an apple is,
but now I don’t.
And what I once thought was love
was only its metaphor,
an approximation of what it could be,
words connected by varying shades of gray,
satellites to this love, which is independent
of anything else that has ever existed—
independent of the words for it,
living in its own universe of absolutes
where there is no such color as gray.
©A. D. Joyce, 2014