Holding

You go out and sit in the crucible
that isn’t dark yet but precedes it,

where the bee whirs suspended
in a white thread of its own making.

You think of how maybe it’s possible
to turn back the small waves of brooding

that touched everything all morning,
how with effort you might find

some footing as this vehicle lurches
ever onward through something

difficult called the future.
And while it’s true we’re creatures

of appetite, never completely appeased,
the sweetgum continues to drop

its everlasting arsenal of brittle
brown pods— they can puncture your skin,

send a sepsis raging through the veins
and into your brain or heart. What

will you do then when you’re truly
paralyzed, unable to hoist your voice

or a hand to signal in the air? Better
to learn how the smallest stones divide

the onrushing current; how the eddies swell
with sorrows that break then eventually recede.

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