A Paradox for Mine, September 

This evening we sit on the banks of a something;
the sunset is jealous of the show we perform.
For a thousand years every night have we been here,
a lifetime together only God could have granted
for some charitable act we performed in a past life
when our souls were fused together as one —
before being split so we could search for each other.

You used the right code word, your smile familiar,
I instantly recognized you from afar.
But that terrible journey — behind me at last —
was a habit I knew while this love is so frightening.
For what if I lose you?  Must I find you all over again?
What if in clutching so tight[ly] you slip right through my fingers?

This is the drama that suffocátes me every second,
each moment a blessing that brings me closer to doom.
“Don’t leave me, darling”; is that too much to ask?
Can’t you stop being so selfish and just be immortal?
I had nothing to lose before the day that I met you
but now you’re the one thing I [just] can’t live without.

Thus you’re the death séntence that makes life worth living
and the sweet kiss of death that breathes life into my being.
You tell me not to worry — to enjoy what we have —
while conspiring to steal all the beats of my heart.
You smile and laugh, caress the back of my neck…
I’m just a crime scene covered in your fine fingerprints. 

We gaze across something, to that far off horizon,
the sun setting serenely as it has so many times in our past.
I’ve lived a life by your side — fingérs interlaced,
legs interwoven, arms wrapped together —
and with each step that we take my breath’s drawing quicker
as we approach your inevitable departure.

Love is willing self-torture filled with fearfúl ánticipation 
that one day it’ll be gone, that you’ll not come around,
your absence a weight that’s mortally crushing.
Like that storied tree in the woods, does a sunset exist 
if you’re not by my side to enjoy ít along with me?
An interminable nightmare of loss and nostalgia.

The joy of possession is a paradoxical curse…
for one day it’ll all be surrendered back to the cosmos
and the pain of that cápitulation, of that fateful release,
can barely be worth all that for which I’ll be left yearning.
Infinity’s fleeting, and though love may last forever,
it’s you that I want, always right here beside me.

I say: “Will I be an old man, heart shattered open
on my deathbed, my last breath whispers ‘here we go again’?”
You laugh and you answer: “It’s a privilege to chase me
forever and ever and ever again.”
Infinity’s weary, but I’ve nothing better to do,
yet which part is sadder: the search or the finding?

How dare you make me love you? How dare you make me care?  
How dare you make me vulnerable to all of life’s questions?
I was just minding my business watching shows on TV
until you came along and made each second precious.
Ok, fine, one day I’ll f--- up, or maybe you’ll die,
either way I know I’ll have tó say goodbye.

So I guess I’ll give up — just laugh right along with you 
and just squeeze you tighter, commit each heartbeat to memory.
I’m grateful yet guarded, jealous of my past self
for all of the kisses he received from your lips.
I might as well bask in the moments I’ll miss so insanely
and besides, there’s a sunset that looks pretty tonight.
You say: “The least we can do is give ít a good show.”

September 2016 

Captain Jesse Sommer is an active duty Army paratrooper and lifelong resident of Albany County. He welcomes your thoughts at .