You couldn’t stare, open-mouthed,
at the pock-marked moon, expecting
an amulet to drop like dawn’s first perfect
pearl of dew, did you? And you didn’t think
the heart of the lotus— or that red, red heart
hidden in the fronds of the tropical tree—
would give up its treasure without exacting
a price from you? Who knows how many nights
you’ll need to stand there, just like in
the legend: opening your mouth, your guts,
your insides to the punishing dark,
before some jury says Enough, no more,
she’s done her time, let her off easy now?
The only thing I know most days: that stubborn
pebble called hope, impossibly stuck in my craw.
In response to Via Negativa: Thimble.