A Way of Place

by Jill Chan

There are people walking,

not knowing where they are,

a way to peace is just that--

a place to go. They are like us,

the ones with nowhere to go,

with no place to stay

except in each place

forever decided--inexact--

like love or death--

or both--how similar they are--

how unrecognisable we are

in the face of mortality--

how we engage the world one way

and go our separate ways,

promising none of this,

only ways to comfort,

ageless and disconcerting, saying,

We go always to be gone,

apart from ourselves,

our endless echoes, the desires

of eternity gone the way

of everyday where we mine love

and stay, dissolve our faces

in dailiness--

a cup of coffee drunk

with so much bitterness, so much

we can't control.

Decide, we think,

decide to be someone

we couldn't be in ambition.

The rain is falling

as it is deciding.

We ponder on things not ours

to think about. The street open

like our beauty to be named.

In our minds, the people

are still walking,

now away from their lives toward

some place they cannot recognise,

some place like a mind or a heart

they've deserted like children,

how they are found

without themselves.

Please be careful of the way

you measure these things

in your life. How we decide too much

for too little. How we must be here.

How we end up where we shouldn't be--

untamed and unmoored,

washed up on a shore of

some place we decided

but cannot be.