Categories
Poetry

An Uneasy Accord

Dynamic Equilibrium

It does me no good; violence has changed me.
My body has grown cold like the stripped fields;
Now there is only my mind;
With the sense it is being tested.
October by Louise Glück

The moment I knew
wasn’t when my phone
logged three miles
though I had never left the basement,
my notebook crammed
with verse I didn’t write,
or the day I couldn’t make the streets talk.
I don’t know why I demand
the signs tell me where I’ve been.
It does me no good; violence has changed me.

The moment dawned with light.
How long had I been downstairs?
I might have been tinkering.
The workbench lamp, swinging yellow, white, yellow.
At my feet, a shattered mug.
I wondered why I should hate the thing,
why snails evolved such unlikely bodies,
water boils in the kettle,
every October day looks like May,
why my body has grown cold like the stripped fields.

The moment followed the clacking latch.
Between the stairs I saw slippers, one and two.
The way her ankles peeked
below her jeans, how she took coffee.
Are you down there, Hon?
I heard my voice reply
I don’t know.
The moment I knew
where once was whole body and soul
now there is only my mind, cautious and wary.

Some say they fear the unknown.
I read the dying astronomer’s
antidotes to fear of death.
Lying on her back those nights
she would swallow all of the stars
or swim to the beginning,
before space and time, before fear.
How to make such lasting peace
when I wake each day
with the sense it is being tested?

By markthegrey

I am a biologist, author, poet, professor, and parent. I nest in Aurora, IL with my spouse and about two to four kids.

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