The mind is door after door after door,
Time is keeper of the keys.
Time needs it to be known that it is no mere illusion.
It unravels moments, revealing the present in little shivers.
The only alternative is everything at once.
Incomprehensible. I’ll not describe its passing.
In every explosion there has to be order.
But what seems to be growing is actually pulling itself apart,
or more precisely, is the pulling apart itself.
And so, for now, the mind is expanding
to the point of critical divide, where the law of gravity
takes effect, and the spent pieces of time reverse.
On the inward decline, it sucks itself up.
The whole damn universe sticks its head up its ass
and jumps into oblivion.
Time will not be ignored when speaking of the mind.
For time there is no motion,
we just reappear in other places.
The fear of time is cutting loose.
Letting go of the mind seems worse than losing it
to a life that exists between deadlines.
When I was one, a year took my whole life to live.
At ten it took a tenth, so time was moving faster.
For now it’s about a forty-first, which is to say, a blur.
Downtown, they sit on the steps and wait for the sun to pass.
They tell time by their shadows.
Like a newborn left unanswered, time will cry itself to death.
From The Mind (Salmon Poetry 2011)
John FitzGerald is a poet, writer, editor, and attorney in Los Angeles. A dual citizen of the United States and Ireland, he graduated from the University of West Los Angeles School of Law, where he was editor of the Law Review. His newest work, The Mind, was published by Salmon Poetry in 2011. His fourth collection is forthcoming from Salmon Poetry in 2014.