I spent a few hours today
uncaught up in worry.
That’ll have to be
all for one day, or a
year; all the time
I’m likely to get
free of the shackle
I could say
more about that
let’s discuss how it happened;
three strawberry plants
I moved on impulse
into the greenhouse
when their bed,
rotted and old,
let’s talk of them
now blooming in their
temporary pots and
how the ground might
be warm enough
to take them back.
Let’s talk about me
doing something right
purely on instinct
that small success
How my right index fingernail curls under,
causing it to hook guitar strings,
requiring attention and constant care.
How my semi-polytheistic agnosticism
screws up conversations about
the nature of reality.
How my fatness and my diabetes
are connected and correlated by others;
endless, wearying blood and food vigilance
for the latter has led to a decrease
in the former, which is less of an issue for me
yet is always a source of first comment for others
praising me for decreasing in size;
I tell them it’s because of illness,
they say “but still…” and I let it ride.
How inconsistent I am
in love for any and all,
essentially a damn island
when it comes to honoring
connection; how selfish I am
at heart; how mechanically I surmount that
for the sake of appearance; how easy
I find it to dissemble in such a way;
how frightened I am of slipping.
How flat my feet, how dumb my legs
for running; how silly my eyes look
when I am trying to forget what I’ve seen.
How death smells like roses
wherever I find it waiting round the corners
on my path. How I love the smell of roses.
How easily I could make this list
last and last, growing longer and
wider, faster and faster with the piling on.
How thin these scratches on my surface
go all the way through.
Imagine the second
when the first proto-human
to have their consciousness flicker
from “just before human”
into “fully human”
looked around at the other
and felt for the first time
humanly, utterly alone.
It was likely enough
to drive them back
over the threshold into
the comfort of animal thought,
but it left a residue of that fear,
an ember within
which flared and faded, flared and faded,
until the fire could spread at last to others.
They had burned for want of that first language,
were burned by the terror
that there were none like them.
Imagine the joy
when the First Word was spoken,
understood, repeated —
rain on blistered skin,
upraised faces inventing song.