Listen, we are human beings.
We are given to love
and there is no other war
quite like it. We fail,
and flail and fall, and will,
with a life lived well,
with every organ speared.
Inside you are continents
that pulse. They don’t need
your help too much. They dance
as you sleep, in the chilled out rhythms
of a lava lamp. During an ultrasound,
belly gelled, you may not even recognize
the liver, the pancreas, your own aorta,
the same way you aren’t sure
if Myanmar is near Thailand or India.
It all looks like the Aleutian islands to you,
all coral reefs and volcanic ranges,
borders unguarded. You could use
the comedy of a sea otter, but imagine
The tactics are to fend off any attack,
to win, always to win, or at least get out
with only the loss of some vision.
Your health consultant for today
has set her sights on this dark region
over on the left, which could be a lake,
or the tar pits. Please take a deep breath in
and hold it, she says and you can think
of nothing but exhalation, the explosion
of air released from the lungs.
Hold and release.
Retreat and advance.
You belong to a clan
but someday a foreigner
may ask to carry you from one land
into your next. Let them.