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INDESTRUCTIBLE

The title would seem to be
misleading...

because Indestructible Man
erupted into raging fire
at the end of the movie.

But was he really destroyed?

True, he would no longer
rampage the land--no longer
be ruled by an anger
born from the incessant bullwhip.

But was he really destroyed?

I ask that question because
in a recurrent dream
I know I have to step
on a certain round green stone
in the road, though I know
the stone will explode me--

impaled on shearing points
of a merciless wind,
Ill be broken to bits
in a mad wrathful rush--yes

but even worse:
I will not become
unconscious--I will not
receive that black relief--

to fully appreciate hell
I must remain aware.

I do not have to step on that stone
yet I must step on that round stone.

Sometimes you see a sledgehammer
and you know in an instant
that merciless tool owns you
for the next fifty years--

though you may not tell yourself
until decades later
what you understood then.

Or you will see someone draining
his blood into an irrigation ditch

and know he'll soak through you
again and again and again.

He will because
you are indestructible.

And when someone asks why did you?

my reasonable excuses feel like lies.

But modesty will not allow me
to say what I wish to say
--except in a poem:

I am indestructible--
 my arm may bleed,
 my feet may curse,
 my head may burst

but

 I stepped on that bomb,
 I picked up that sledgehammer,
 I carried that broken body

 because I am indestructible--

 and yet I need to be destroyed

 because Im still a long way
 from the core--so I know
 Ill jump on many more
 round green stones
 in this road--

 but I also realize
 that I am--in the moment of explosion--
 a brilliant nova
 at the top of the tower.
 No longer a ghost
 but the streak of a comet--
 shedding light
 through my universal home.

© 2008 Michael R. Patton      go back

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