As the clock ticks towards midnight
and but for a microsecond I will be between two months, two days, two years,
I realize what Janus must have felt like.
Janus, that god of Roman antiquity
with his two faces:
one, looking into the past;
the other, facing the future.
I find it hard to look backwards with regret
or to glance over my shoulder at sorrow
because like Lot’s wife
I know the dangers of looking back at the burning wreckage:
I feel it each time memory bleeds salt from my eyes.
The severed friendship.
The missed opportunities.
The closing gates of another year gone by
in a body destined for decay.
—the knowledge that I am but a speck of dust
star-stuff, but nevertheless, only here for a whisper of celestial time—
ought to guide my gaze towards the year to come with eagerness
or hope, at the very least.
But I find myself, at every moment
on the precipice of the future
desperately trying to perform alchemy
and transform fear into bold curiosity.
We make offerings to soothe our worry:
no figs or honey left at altars
but promises and resolutions,
penned on our calendars
—tabula rasa, a fresh slate—
we make incantations to time itself.
can we not linger in the doorway,
between two rooms,
for just a moment longer,
even as the bells strike twelve?