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January 2013, vol 8, no 4

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Damien W. Green

When Life Got Small

I remember nights like this one, from long ago, the inky darkness and cool silence that soaked into the daylight until daylight was dissolved. Darkness became a stain that would creep inside of me at regular intervals. Tonight is a night like that. Perhaps, as I once did, I will go out for a walk and attempt to penetrate the unknown. Although, I could just as easily do that here and pretend the green glow of the desk lamp is the moon. However, when I am walking I feel better able to ask the questions necessary to shoot my arrows at the heart of the unknown.

Autumn leaves wrinkle beneath my feet, the air is sharp and lean and points me toward the moon as if I have enough steps left in me to get there. My thoughts turn to life and how small it has become as I have grown older. I wonder how I will continue to exist without crushing all of these small things. Even the moon looks like a ball that I could hold in my hands. As a child I felt in awe of the moon, I dreamed of being swallowed by it and drowning in its light. Now it is no more than a toy to me, to be cast aside as soon as I discover some new thing to play with. When I was a child everything was well proportioned to my place in the universe.

I look outside, having never left the house and I hear the crickets rubbing their wings together; sounding just as they did when I was a child.

When life became small
I turned on my green desk lamp
The moon swallowed me