This dust is not mine to keep
I’m just borrowing these motes
Animating their shape with awareness
Knowing my time is short.

Consciousness is a hand-me-down,
Passed forward by my thousandth ancestor,
Surrendered to my thousandth descendant.
I’m one stop along its way.

This dust, arranged in a delicate pocket
To carry my transient consciousness
The same stuff as galaxies and atoms.
I am of the universe.

Life belongs to the unborn.
There is a time to let it go.
My awareness may dissolve
But atoms are forever.

Karen Muriello
Oak Park

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