I am less of myself and more of the sun;
The beat of life is wearing me
To an incomplete oblivion,
Yet not to the certain dignity
Of death. They cannot even die
Who have not lived.
The hungry jaws
Of space snap at my unlearned eye,
And time tears in my flesh like claws.
If I am not life’s, if I am not death’s,
Out of chaos I must re-reap
The burden of untasted breaths.
Who has not waked may not yet sleep.
This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on February 17, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.
“Flash” appeared in Curtains (John Lane Company, 1921).