notborn

tuck and roll

oh, sweet poet of duality’s
tongue, mad dog from hell in guise
of love, would-be branch that shared a root,
lend me your ear and i will play your tune:

i have thought too long to compare
your breath to hot air; it would be
an insult to how it rises. trust that

you are loved, but that you have yet to know
regret. you must come to understand that
every river is flush in time and still not
born with a mind for quarry. you must

long for the aftertaste of exhumation.
all the reader will ever ask of you:

     show me that your days are worth more
     than the many miscarriages of your muses.

after all, perhaps we are tumbling down
a steep stone staircase to a valley of flowers. i
imagine they are blinded by laughter upon the sight:
our lives unraveled along carefully carved landings.

would you give in and walk between dreams of
picking petunias obscured in midday shadows, or
drowning the beautiful in ammoniated hatred?

i say, tuck and roll. shoulder into it. i say,
learn to savor the rough tin of your own red –

as days turn to nights, call back to that traveled path
unending, hold the embarrassment from your clutches,
and find your pride in a valleyed green well-fed.