Poem

ARK’S ASILUM

When we are hopelessly young, we hear things repeatedly; Ark had noticed it, and so had I.

          

 “You must be this way to live, this way to think, this way to thrive,”

We bare witness to these lies again and again.  They call to us, unwillingly; we are told to think they’re right;

And so listen to those violent calls with unabashed enthusiasm, though while they’re floating through the air-

Our attempts at a solid grasp around the formlessness of their existence is failed entirely by the clumsiness of our human hands;

And for all our efforts, we are only to be rewarded with the silence of uncertainty and unplanned demands.

So when I boarded a train to go meet Ark, I knew he had heard these things as clearly as I.

The train was tirelessly slow that day, and as I finally boarded, I saw visions of Ark in my mind;

What would he look like, and what was so unique about what he was writing?  Once I boarded, I sat alone in the corner, book in hand, looking forward to meeting him, simply talking with him, something, for a while, I hadn’t done-

With another human being at all this past winter; cold and damp; a talk here or there would have been nice to ease the pain of being alone and undone.

 

Ark was at his pinnacle, reaching a peak he claimed no one had dared reach before; an apex of something new, verging on the terrible mystique that surrounded the suicidal spiral we both had been through.

It was amazing to me that a businessman of such high caliber had confided to me his wish for death.  But he needed to live, for I wanted to know his thoughts, and what visions he had left.

The train chugged along slowly as I read his note to me, scribbled and not neatly penned; it was a miracle and then some, however, to see a note written and not typed, but with pen.

Ark had a unique way of ignoring the cultural climate to do as he wished, saying to me on occasion which soon became every occasion we spoke: “I do not want to be remembered by this generation; I want to be unforgettable to all the rest,”

It was no surprise then, that he had handwritten his notes, and mailed them to me promptly after our conversations.  The one my eyes glazed over was integral; it was to tell me where his office was located, as it lied on some tucked away street in Mozambique;

I had hoped I would be able to find it myself, but Ark had said to me, “Don’t overestimate your ability to navigate something new, it could end in shame, and shame is weak”


I was originally from Portugal, sure, but I knew how to get around; I complied with Ark’s wishes, however, as he knew more about this place that needed to be found.

The train kept a steady pace as I flipped through the contents of the note; on the first page were the directions; he had told me, along with his wishes of death, that he relocated to California after a life of extreme poverty;

A feet I wanted to discuss with him during our interview, for-

It startled me how someone could make such a change in the course of such a short life–Ark was only twenty-three.

 

I was now thirty, and as the years crept up on me, the change that I so needed seemed abysmally out of reach; when you try again and again to gain the world, the gains you so wished for will be empty and beseeched.

But what was there to gain anymore?  I supposed Ark had a clue; he was so tirelessly passionate about his work it left me awestruck whenever I heard his voice over all the hullabaloo.

“We’re close now,” he said breathlessly, “To finding out the reason why people experience these things, these mental disturbances; I have my background in technology, but this will be a new venture, for everyone involved- a self-diagnostic report, a new uncharted adventure.”  

“Tell your people over at the paper that this is going to change things; screw environmentalism and all those issues you write about about; the trees, the women, the health care, the terrorists- this is going to be big, bigger than that by a large amount”  

And I was so eager to see his plans make headway and become;

But I had to stop listening that night; I was tired, the writing making my hands numb-

And so that night I left Ark and the Asilum.

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