we are what’s left behind—

material wisps and whirls, set

in motion, even as we are,

from first breaths, breaking

down—down to our base

elements, like sediment once

stirred in suspension,

(tick tock)

slowly losing what keeps us

alive, til finally, we settle

(tick tock)

for what can be when what could be

gives up the ghost

to what never and always

                                                                    will be,