Stars like a runway to oblivion.
By 4am I was an amateur philosopher
still talking, trying to convince a young woman
that her life was worth living, a woman
I did not really know, who happened
to walk into my dorm room.
Without citing Aquinas on “beatific vision”
or Aristotle on the “function of a human”
I instinctively knew also to avoid what little I knew
of Nietzsche and Schopenhauer in this
middle-of-the-night/morning plea, too desperate
for a systematic analysis of fundamental principles
between realms, between abstractions
this middle-of-the-night existential volley.
And the diminutive woman, who looked like
a girl of 12, blew her nose repeatedly
and countered every entreaty I made for living
as we wrestled with details, she confessed
to a life barely bearable in the rearview mirror
in which the image of a prostitute mother
introducing her to “grotesqueries” she called
the men, existed in present tense in the sense
of recurring visions,…