[If every life is four-dimensional]

[If every life is four-dimensional] | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

In 1893, Edvard Munch painted Starry Night based off of the coastline at Åsgårdstrand, a small beach resort south of Oslo in Norway where the artist spent his summers. Courtesy of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.

If every life is four dimensional,
if your “now” is just one segment of your whole
and your body spans across the surface of time,
then I could trace the sloping limb of your life
back to its source, the branch that opens up
and lets you calve off. And that branch too,
I’d run my mind along its length of years
and find the place it splits off from its mother. 
So then a family tree is not metaphor,
and you are not an independent rosebud
opening on oblivion. You’re bound
by bone to every node of human life
pinking the spotlight of right now. And what’s
beyond the bottom root? And what’s the sky?

Justin Rigamonti is Managing Director of Poetry Press Week and Managing Editor of Fonograf Editions. His work has appeared in The Threepenny Review, The Burnside Review, and The Cortland Review
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