Refugees of Time

“[T]o die (Sterben) means: to bear death in one’s own Being. . . . [W]e are capable of it only if our Being is capable of the Being of death” –Heidegger, “The Danger” 56 (in Agamben, Remnants of Auschwitz 74)

“We are used to distinguishing between refugees and stateless people…. From the beginning, many refugees who were not technically stateless preferred to become such rather than return to their country.”—Agamben, Means without Ends 16

I’ve always been a refugee of time,
lost on this journey before I was born;
now I am traveling to where time dies.

No place is called home, for me, or for mine,
no rest is here among the moving stars—
I’ve always been a wanderer of time.

Home is where I am not, in Zeit und Sein:
it’s where I find that “I” does not mean “our.”
I am traveling now to where time dies.

Began this journey before I was I;
haven’t gone anywhere, strayed too far:
I’ve always been a wanderer in time.

Here at the end of wars stacked up like lies,
whose numbers must be marked on me like scars,
I am travelling home to where time must die.

Why must everything we love flee, or cry?
Like a door, the question is ajar—:
I’ve always been a refugee of time;
I’ve come home, here, now, to where time must die.

Steven B. Katz

About Steven B. Katz

In addition to scholarly books and articles, and a chapbook of poetry “Nana!”, Steven B. Katz has published poems in Pembroke Magazine, South Carolina Review, Southern Poetry Review, College Composition and Communication, Pre/Text, Postmodern Culture, European Judaism (London) Obsidian
III: Black Literature in Review, The Raleigh News and Observer, Free Verse, Continental Drift, Archives of Family (AMA), Voices: Journal of the American Academy of Psychotherapy, Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, Star*Line: Magazine of the Science Fiction Poetry Association, and Jacar Press 
volumes, as well as in Elohi Gadugi. Steve is the R. Roy and Marnie Pearce Professor of Professional Communication, as well as a Fellow of the Rutland Institute for Ethics, at Clemson 
University.
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