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This is from a longer poem by my historian/museum curator brother:

"The thinking earth squeezes to the surface only bits of death and stone.

We pocket what we can, imagine the rest."

 

He follows this with the last two lines of the poem:

"But what frightened us back there is this:

In real life nothing is lost."

 

I'm with him in the first two lines, which come at the end of a poem called "A Meditation on Time (with a group of fossil hunters in the McCullough Peaks Badlands)". But - and I will have to ask him about this - that final line. The poem cracks along from truth to truth, and then...real life?

Unless 'nothing' here is Sartre's, in which case, wow. An invisible comma: a grammatical pause between life and nothing. An abyss of transition, visible in the spoken word but unheard in the written.

 

I wonder:

"In real life

nothing

is lost."

 

 (Listen to the knelling bell of that structure.)

 

« L'homme est l'être par qui le néant arrive au monde »