Until I Hunger No More


Glowing Embers. Photo by Jens Buurgaard Niels, via Wikipedia

We, the human kind, know a hunger,
felt by no other creature.
It is a hunger of the heart we call
a yearning. It offers us gloriously
flaming pains we circle like moths
within our hearts all our waking days.

My yearnings lie stacked within me
like cordwood, each having a name,
each carved like some graven idol
resembling one I could not exist without.
But I do.

A new yearning comes along, turning
the idol to charcoal, or it just
flames out, the pain growing
smaller and smaller. But still,
they never let me rest.

It can be like a windblown tree branch
tapping at my window as I try
drifting off to a sleep without dreams.
Or maybe it becomes like the drip
of a faucet I barely hear but know
is there, softly haunting.

The other night, I give that tap
one more good twist to the right
and closed my eyes, believing
I’d shut down the last yearning.
But I was wrong.

There will always be that lone
echoing heartbeat I feel when
I place these fingertips upon
my own chest. I’ll feel that
glowing ember until this burning,
yearning heart stops and
hungers no more.

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