Not for the first time
an unwelcome poem arrives
and demands your attention.
Perhaps it is the one you’ve always avoided
about your hometown, how it’s like all others
except where it is unique, one that insists
on pushing you
toward extravagant words
you have no time or energy to spend.
Maybe it’s the one that explains
how you believe in God but fear
the response of your atheist friends
because they’ve shown no mercy
to others in the past and while you are
not at all insecure, you know how rage goes
when you are enraged, and they
have enraged you — but you’ve held back the poem
and cannot attend to it now,
because God stopped talking to you
more than an age ago and you are trying so hard
to get along without counsel.
You don’t write poems any more.
You mostly take notes for poems
which keep nudging you: your time
is running down, your energy is
trickling down, your attention is
Today’s poem is knocking, not for the first time.
It refuses to introduce itself. Go away,
you scream at the door. Go away, I’m done…
and just like that, it’s gone.
One day it won’t come back.
Already the gaps between its appearances
and you are forgetting
it was ever here.