Tuesday, November 14, 2017

No-Brainer

A hand other than your own
covers your mouth.

You think about the haphazard way
that prayer works, miracles,
wishes.

The obvious choice
is to stay put. Don’t move.

There is no form for this —
you ought to know it by now,
instinct, the body’s language,
a total no-brainer. Not some
second grade teacher’s 5-7-5
relief during the poetry unit,
an easy formulaic response
to growls of cherry blossoms.

Oh no. This is full-on, redoubled,
wheeling epic free verse —fever dream,
old-bones- rocked-to-sleep-on-a-razor’s-edge-can-of-soup-
there-is-not-enough-Vicodin-for-this-armada.

A ship is pulled underwater in your chest.
Cows graze in your head.
Your feet have no imagination.

You should know this one.
Don’t speak. Leave it blank.
There’s your control.

You stand up. You raise your hand,
fail the test over and over again.

The obvious choice
is to stay put. Don’t move.

A hand other than your own
covers your mouth.

You host the barbarian,
you are incendiary,
you are the reason
we have no way
to grade this.


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