Daily Archives: February 3, 2016

The Promise Of Risotto

Originally posted 4/30/2011.

I lean in to suck hissing gas
from the unlit burner,
just to see what that’s like.

I’ve got good food to cook,
good enough for a last meal
in fact.  And if I get past that,

there’s decent dessert too.  So
I stop. I will not put myself
so close just yet. It’s the little things

that always, always
do the trick.  The cat
hovering nearby with sacred fur.

The promise of risotto.
The desire not to leave a mess
for loved ones.  

I take what I can get
from the bag of small miracles,
treat them as talismans.  

Anticipation of dark chocolate, 
pear cider,
cool night air
on open skin. 

My hand filled
with whatever makes it hard 
to grip a razor.

How To Be A Guided Missile

Let’s discard the easy ways
used by too many: no hijacking,
sniping, spraying of bullets,
or strapping on of explosives
required for this.  First step instead

is to be unapologetic: as it is,
you are deadly enough as you are
to some. Your body is a terror
already to someone: look around,
see how hard they work to disarm

its sights, its smells, its presence.
See how they fight your natural being?
You can simply be that and do the job
well enough. To take it a step farther,
find an ally or two: a partner, a lover,

a friend — anyone who’ll step to the target
with you. We’ll say that no one needs to get hurt,
although no one believes that, really; someone
likely will. It may be you, it may be them,
maybe everyone will get hurt so don’t go there alone —

although it’s hard not to feel alone when racing toward
impact, it will be better when you know
there’s someone beside you, even if
all you have to reach for is an ancestor or a hero.
Take heart in knowing who carries your armor.

Lastly: it’s not hard to pick a target as they
present themselves so often, so casually, that 
it’s nearly impossible not to strike one daily, hourly,
second to second. You will barely be able
to stand after some of those cratering moments, slowed by

visible pain, invisible wounds, yet-unknown
long term effects. It’s not my place to tell you
to stand tall and take it; you will do what you do.
All I’m saying is that you will be a warhead 
without ever trying to be so it may be worth doing well.

Be whatever you were meant to be: sleek or stout,
dark or light, strangely obvious or as normal
and nondescript as a sheet of paper. Know 
your trajectory. Be ready to fly — and when you fly
you will land somewhere, so level it.