…the air is full of questions. Sometimes/ I cannot bear to think past them, to pry them/ loose from their trellis of hope and doubt and fear.


Do you still keep the bladed questions
in your closet’s little fragrance drawer?

When you bolted them last, they were
struggling to break out as a conspiracy

of fearsome pain that could break you.
Why test your fearful heart once again?

Gather them like twigs, kindling sticks,
and burn them with the brittle promises.

Past days have no way of turning back,
they travel through dark one-way streets.

Only those bladed questions will return.
Will their cutting edge be blunted then?

Spare your balsam for the dead and dry
days: when they descend, you will need

your balm to salve the hurts that have
yet to come. Leave settings hammered.

—Albert B. Casuga