This has been the first day
of not being certain
that our future will be something other
than a hard blank wall.
We are milling about at the end
of an alley that goes nowhere,
trying to decide what to do.
Too many of us here, it seems,
to turn around and go back
without crushing millions underfoot
in the stampede. I don’t care that much
for myself as I never expected to end up
on the other side of this. But for all the rest
with no apocalypse to look forward to
and no paradise darkly looming, only
a roadblock seventeen stories high
and no way around it? Too much to bear.
Overhead, though, wings
in vast formation go back and forth
above us, too far up for us to tell
for certain whether they are albatrosses
or vultures, or even the angels
we’ve heard so much about.
The only thing to do: sit down
where we are and erase all the names
from all our mythologies — no more Zeus,
no more Quan Yin, no more Aphrodite,
farewell to Set and Hera and as for
that boy Jesus…What new names
should we be learning? Here we are
sitting before the wall at the end
of the Way, trying to get the words right
if only to see what will happen.