what is this life if,
full of care,
attentive to slips, missteps,
wet paint and wet floor signs –
we fall, anyway.

what is this life, if,
despite best efforts
lessons learned,
sacrifices and good behaviour –
we fall, anyway.

what is this life
but a loan of moments,
a loan of atoms;
our basic ingredients
and a fleeting imprint on wet sand.

what is this life?
remote-controlled; champions
of our own submission,
plotting our way
through a perilous minefield,
see, hear, speak no evil.
an ill-fated mission
but no alternate.
what is this life –
a poisoned garden?

life is this: only life, if not death.
life is this summary.
we exist within those boundaries;
fighting, loving, daily doing
only remembering when reminded,
in brutal blindsidings:
that life is only life, if not death.

what is this life?
if only life, when not death, then:
nothing but the end of the beginning
nothing but the beginning of the end.