Ecstasy might get us first . . . well, eventually anyway. Whether it’s synthetic or auto-induced, it will give us our best reason for living, for not committing suicide. For me, it might come from a wine glass or a joint or mushrooms or a sunset or a verse by Rumi. But it will come and upset the apple cart of ordinary consciousness. And it will make apple pie of the equations of happiness that scintillate like stars in a magic mirror, a heavenly fun house in which my desires are reflected and played out.

Ecstasy shall prevail. The tavern only empties when its heaviest drinkers pour out their full hearts. When poet and plumber agree that pipes are what both the singer and usable water need. All wit aside, ecstasy will prevail, I’m banking on it. Even if I end up bankrupt I have a feeling I’ll still have the last laugh, laughing with the universe. Laughing at my own reflection, laughing at the love I never understood. Laughing at laughter, at tears, at the poetry that puts me in a pensive, even solemn mood. And laughing at the wealth of emotion that paid such a serious price for this gift of ecstasy.

I am beside myself with gratitude. The heights prevailed, having become one with the depths. My life is no longer about me, but the content of an ecstatic moment. Poetry, in other words: the concrete life all poets must ground themselves in. Especially when they’re beside (or outside) themselves, experiencing the dance that is the dancer, the ecstasy that is their poetry. When they’re most themselves and beyond themselves simultaneously. When, all things considered, they are most ready to die.