A lesson in Ichi-go ichi-e

The rust on the gate felt raw,
the path ahead too small –
as she stood watching a visage,
committing images to memory –
Almost — almost aware
that an era will end soon.

A diminutive figure walked the path.
There was the customary goodbye
from its definite end,
where bigger roads began.
What battles were he going to wage?
Did that tap on the shoulder mean take care?
Did he know –
when he showed her the moon,
and the tunnels to and from it –
his alternate realities;
Did he know, that she had learnt
to assume, a deadpan face;
while holding on
to the sound of his words?

If they had known,
that no more words
shall come to pass
between them,
Would they have embellished
the last few a trifle –
and not have let them
gotten lost
in the shifting air?

She knows not whether
the road became him;
Or whether, he found
a better abode;
Or whether, he fell
to time’s rampant march.
Possibilities and ignorance juxtaposed
in a confounding doublethink;
Until she found an accomplice to embrace.

From spaces and silences,
Closure develops.
Explanations and rendezvous
are poor substitutes.

Ichi-go ichi-e, it was.
A lesson in how not to –
patronize a tear
when life revels in its transience.

Acceptance is a good accomplice.
Acceptance, she decided
Is closure.


Note: Ichi-go ichi-e is a japanese term for “one time, one meeting”, often translated as “for this time only,” “never again,” or “one chance in a lifetime.”


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