When heartbeats

cease to make


when eyes turn to


when hands

only count

as abaci,

and when minds act

as balances

weighing heavy things

who can’t fly

away free

in the





Note: I am currently studying life, both from the scientific and the literary point of view. In the Lithuanian language there are two words that translate into “life”. The first, gyvybė [gee-VEE-beh], describes the being alive aspect of life—biologically functioning, blood-pumping, moving, eating, sleeping, aliveness. The second, gyvenimas [gee-VAN-ih-mus], describes the living aspects of life—how you are doing today, hopes, dreams, problems, relationships, livingness. This poem was born thinking about the possible opposites of both of these words.


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