The Ancient Modern

Room of Exits  /  Joshua Alan Sturgill         

What is this body?
a crossroads, a convergence
     pain & memory
     illness & desire
a named place without a boundary
a wall-less room of exits
leading from itself.

What is this Self
within this body?
an asylum-seeker
sheltered for a wide moment
     love & discomfort
     food & reason
long enough to see the caravans appear
freighted or empty
     messengers & songs
     scholars & idiots
Youth, strength, age —
the wide moment draws down
swift, but seeming slow
and my leaving is near.

I choose for a guide 
that solemn, distant mountain,
blue as the evening sky.
Which road will take me there
from crossroad to fulcrum
     Meru & Zion
up to the high places
where the horizon turns
from line to wheel


All poetry and supplementary material: copyright 2022 by Joshua Alan Sturgill. All rights reserved.

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