We can see the future      by living in it 

as a sequence       of losses that reveal       

in their absence       what we once had      


Although you begin again       with a new fearless 

belief system        the belief in systems is elusive    


Perhaps monotheism      was invented      

by a high school senior       with mono      

or in the act of replacing        aspirations 

with the set         of minor whatevers        

you already pulled off        A column 

of checks        waiting for the to do list


But that just replaces      the tension of failure        

with the tension of a coverup        The former 

being more interesting      because it contains 

within it       the possibility of success  


Often being unable       to hear over the rush 

of air     is the allure       You can’t break       

an unmade promise      or pretend someone       

hasn’t given up on you       when they say     

I love giving up on you        but the distraction      

of rubbing your hands        on a cold day     

gives you some pure conviction      that won’t 

rise to the challenge       of not dying but will       

get your mind off it      for a moment


The future arrives      as it always does    This time 

in the moment       the story abandons any possibility

of redemption       and in the abandonment 

makes redemption possible       as when we shake 

each other's lapels        and declare the jig is up