I don’t get a say in these sorts of things.

We begin together, of course,
but quickly am

I kicked off the page ; dismissed
for being, quote–distracting and

unneeded–I stand to the side
my lips in a pout, and watch

sullenly, in heavy squints
the ragged flow of the pen on the page.

It’s sometimes true, I’m ashamed
to say, that I wish ill

for the final result. “You didn’t ask
me like I thought you might, as I watch,

creative and patient, waiting
for the whistle to call me

in. I’m too good, damn it,
for the sidelines.” The pen ignores,

ink blotting here, lines arching
like the wrinkling back of a cat. I watch

the poem shiver; it stretches
recoils lunges here like grace
on water, the sheen of a blue

duck the dip of a swan I can’t stop
watching as the pen leaps pounds
ducks dives plunges further
I see the top still shimmering
but far below now really

God that’s gorgeous the way that
happens my mouth parts and I am
agape with hushed breathing in no
motion I feel my heart catch it
shudders the pen disappears with
my diving soul–I feel shame

for ill-wishing

but more than that:
I feel alit with a fire that begins
in my stomach and curls around
my thudding heart, the burning
forearm, sketching and clenching
its feverish I’m unprepared of course

I’m distracting, of course I’m not
needed, I see, there’s more to this all

than me–
this, this is more than I.

This is far holier than I.

The poem, the poem
can have its way.


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