field notes

Now, It’s Like This


Now, it’s like this:
billions of stars wheel
through the universe twirling
planets and moons, flinging out
carbon and gold, uranium and ice across
the depths of space.

Now, it’s like this:
four thousand satellites swarm
above our sky, chattering
incessantly in raucous
roller-derby orbit.

Now, it’s like this:
continents of air
heat and cool,
rise and fall,
pushing rain
stirring sands
from Sahara
to Shangri-La.

Now, it’s like this:
predators and prey tangle
in a thrilling dance
of food, sex, death,
and rebirth.

Now, it’s like this:
cities churn, pulse
hum with electric life.
Taxis and trucks vie
for purchase on choked
streets. Horns, gunshots, jackhammers, hydraulic
steam, clanging metal.

Now, it’s like this:
Human beings fuck and fight.
Mothers push out babies.
The dying push out breath.
Millions upon millions of stories buzz
billions of protagonists
trillions of supporting players.
Love stories, family dramas, murders–
ambition, deceit, redemption,
transcendence, betrayal, triumphs
and falls.

Now, it’s like this:
miles of veins thread through
bands of muscle,
organs, and tubes.
Cells divide. Oxygen
in, carbon dioxide out.
Heart beats with the
“Force that through the green fuse drives the flower.”
Breath travels brachia, swells
sacs, enters blood.
Lightning storm of neurons
crackles along gray matter.
Eyes see, ears hear,
fingers touch. Lobes
light up with language, images, and emotions;
images and emotions with fight,
flight, and freeze.

Now, it’s like this:
behind these cosmic
phenomena is a kernel
of awareness we like
to call ‘I.’ We believe we are
somehow separate from the ten
thousand things that make us.

Now, it’s like this:
this very moment an opportunity
to drop beneath the fret
and furrow of habitual
self. To find liberation
in the fact that
now, it’s like this.