I am old enough to remember the world.
It was a place – a thing apart from us.
Not changing at a whim, but hard and sure:
Bright, cold, indifferent, beautiful and strange.
Now all I see is me, reflected back
From every glowing surface, large and small:
My face, my name, my hobbies and beliefs,
And what I will know next, love next, and buy.
It’s all so easy. But where is the world?
It’s still there somewhere, I assume – but how,
In all this tailored seamlessness, can I,
A man like any other, find a thing
That isn’t what I’m seeking? Should I try?
Maybe it doesn’t matter. After all,
We’ve always sought out burrows, havens, towns,
The better to keep out that hungry world
That loved us not, nor trembled if we died.
So why not, then, this haven of the mind?
This customized existence, made for me,
And lovingly adjusted as I move?
Why not enjoy this latest victory
Over the fierce place that gave us only life?
Still, I’m old enough to miss the world.
Just old enough to miss the world.
Those barely younger won’t know what I mean
When I extol the virtues of a place
That never knew us, or attempted to,
But shaped us, coined us, made us what we were.