I learned Saturday I am only so much recycled star stuff. Atoms of my body, albeit an original mix of matter, date to one of the many Big Bangs of the multiverse. I’ve been feeling old lately, but, really people, that old? So said the astrophysicist on the auditorium stage at the Zen Center symposium, an April afternoon’s inquiry into—Shhh! —nature and consciousness, a search for the adjacent possible, whatever that is, glimpses at answers to the many Big Issues of life. In a room crowded, warm, Big Buddha Boy, I swooned! Can you blame me, buddy, if two days later I pick at the cuticle next to my lauded opposable right thumb, looking for wisdom in dry skin, biting it off, spitting? To think, pal, I’ve been alive since the beginning; and I’ll never die, even when our sun at last explodes. I scratch my scalp; dandruff flakes off like memories of childhood, adolescence, yesterday, and the day before that. In a blink of cosmic time, I am of an age of agelessness: now. I make a covenant with mystery employing every ancient recombinant molecule of my mind, remark wonders never cease.
Karla Linn Merrifield has 14 books to her credit, including the 2019 full-length book Athabaskan Fractal: Poems of the Far North from Cirque Press. She is currently working on a poetry collection, My Body the Guitar, to be published in December 2021 by Before Your Quiet Eyes Publications Holograph Series.