What it Means to Live

It thrilled me to see the sweat
roll off of my eyelashes.
Taking a dive,
It mixed with a hint of mascara
and dropped onto you.
I knew the fake skin I had applied earlier
had melted off of me
and every angry mountain on my face was showing,
yet I found it hard to care,
because neither did you.
The sun shined life into our pores
As you shoved life into me
That not so early morning
When we decided to embrace everything that we were.

Music of the world outside,
Strong in heart and beat,
Joined us like a third person in the room.
It drove us forward, like instinct drives penguins
to journey across the coldest of stretches,
like salmon swimming upstream, to live to die,
like what we call love.

And we laughed!
We laughed like calling birds,
like chirping dolphins,
like powerful stomping elephants.
They've understood all along
what we're just now figuring out.
Though our hearts raced forward
to the finish line of aching knees,
to bruises, to cynical hindsight,
to the hottest heat of the day,
we smiled and laughed
from the bottom of our jiggling bellies.
And it was really just that serious,
And it was really just that fun.

Driven by the fear of what's next,
in this sunny time of our lives,
just barely past being fledglings,
we regularly prune our shiny, new feathers
but still look over our shoulders
for the other shoe to drop,
for the imminent decay of our bodies,
ambitions and opportunities
to barrel forward
and smack us in our faces.

But you and I,
that not so early morning,
we let the sun melt the fear right off of us
as we turned into one fiery being,
an explosion of energy.
We gave it everything.
Feathers fell, winter fur shed, hair tangled.
We burned the sheets, the bed, the floor
and fused together like hot wax.
When we were done, laying there, drenched
in our own efforts, we were sure that we knew-
This is the foundation of the universal being.
This is what it means to live.

Guide that inspired this poem: 


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