This morning the world tried its best to tuck me back in.
I’ve been writing from the demilitarized zone
Of my chest and the weather is almost always clouds.
Who can recall the sun with all this posturing?
I heard a woman say, “We ought to live more real life.”
The next morning I climbed a stool in my kitchen
And cried for a little more normal.
I prayed for the lightbulbs I’ve yet to screw in,
The weeds congregating the slabs up the walkway.
There’s a prayer for every sadness because God
Is more a Zamboni than a fine-tooth comb.
Think of prayer as a tremendous pressure kettle whose
Whistling reaches a fever pitch in times of grief.
Think of man as a macaroni portrait made to look like God.
What I’m saying is, there’s an art to living.
I heard a woman say, “She never stopped doing the things
that make her feel satisfied.”
May I come in and join you in front of the tv?
I’ve got so much catching up to do.
How about the dinner table?
I once dined with a pastor who loved exotic spices.
After we prayed, he’d sprinkle atomic sauce
On his pepperoni slices, while
I praised the Scotch Bonnets
On my family’s deserted table.
My mother will always be driving home from work.
The meek shall inherit a deeply flawed ball of yarn,
This isn’t a parable.
I heard a man say, “We’re at a place in history where we know better.”
I said, “I know, I know, I know.”
* * *
for Andrei Bolkonsky
Suppose it rose, a coffin
Suppose it was a hand,
brittle as the fall it was meant to break
What alliances have you made
in the name of senescence
Suppose it could be shed and hidden in corners,
behind appliances and doorways
Suppose it couldn’t
Suppose it was the surface of the moon
and only a privileged few could describe it exactly
Suppose it had no color
Suppose you had no idea what to make of it
and instead of cowering you sang
* * *
we are not born in pieces
we come whole–
at some point we
ingest the notion
of a splintered self
as though it should be cultivated
b/c it catches light just so
as if only glass could capture light
these forgone tremors are
a mirror we do not need
we are much more than
that which has attempted to break us
celebrate your wholeness
everything is going to be okay