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Dear Reader,

 

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.

 

It’s true.

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.”

 

 

*  *  *

 

 

Fear

for Andrei Bolkonsky

 

Suppose it rose, a coffin

among swimmers

 

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

no!

 

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

I promise