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John Grey

The Beginning and the End

You're breathing.
Good job too
otherwise we'd have to roll out
the cushioned bier.
Your skin is gauze thin,
paper soft.
Don't worry.
The calluses will come.
Your hair sits on your head,
wispy over bright pink baldness.
Take note of that round dome.
It's one bookend.
The other is sun-burned and wrinkled
and crisscrossed with scars.
Your lips flutter like feathers.
You throat struggles to make sounds.
But there will come a time
when all the noises are behind you,
even the belches and the farts.
A crib will do for now.
A cemetery looks forward to your company.
You're a month old
and someday you'll be eighty five years..
You push back the weight of air
but the weight of earth will defeat you.
For now, you breathe.
An inspiring sound
but a lifetime takes little comfort.