In Memory of Cal Expo (5/93)

I, you know, have accommodated myself to this
new world — a world where
the magic is everywhere, and, yes,
I’ll say it plainly, nowhere.
Suffused with the feeling of “You HAD
your magic, didn’t you? and Lord,
you knew it, were a glutton for it,
ate at an all-you-can-eat
magic banquet
for so many years,
decades even,
how can you complain?
Piling gluttony
on top of gluttony, that is,
to pile self-pity
on top of so much
satisfied desire.”
But like someone who had a
true love,
whose true love
passes from this Earth,
the ordinary comforts and modest
joys that sustain
those who never met
their true love
now seem meager, a
starvation diet
for such as us.
Yes, I know
I took too much pleasure,
to be worthy of it
even when they were
handing it out
to the plainly
still. That joy became a sort of
compass, pointing toward a
that felt more like me
than even
the small me I know I
am now.
The knowledge that
this joy was not permanent, not
a place to take refuge
was always
there, in the music
that was
the joy. A lot of good
it does to know
that I should have
been listening
harder, when
I wish I could forget
what I know now —
that some joys,
as much
joy as there is, lying
everywhere in plain sight,
are irreplaceable.
Steve Silberman