I have a collection here of all the things
I’m not doing.
I wrote them out on paper,
in my shaking script and laid them at your feet.
I’m not walking out of rooms fast enough
I’m not making the right phone calls at the right time.
I’m not taking the right pills.
I’m not holding the sky up or sleeping well at night.
I’m not as far along as I should be. I’m not sure what the date is.
I’m not drinking the right wine or the right tea. I’m not choosing the right life.
I’m not keeping track of time. I’m not staying together.
The list is getting longer
Longer in fact than the days
that pass from promise to promise
like lily pads I’m leaping to and still missing.
And I’m not sure how many apologies
to hand out, folded into little origami swans,
to outstretched hands and shaking heads.
I am snipping off little tiny pieces of me,
to float down the river toward your house
but there isn’t enough left. I’ve used up all my fingertips.
And there aren’t enough poems for that matter,
or presents, or apologies to undo this feeling.
I’ve taken stock and yet again, come up lacking.
You are all just little words that slip out,
that taste iron and rusted,
the only taste left,
and I’m thinking that these days,
there isn’t a quiet pause long enough,
an island deserted enough, a night restful enough,
for me to keep getting up and doing this all over again.
So I’m going to fold up these little papers,
these lists of not doing,
and eat them one by one, till they line my throat,
till my veins are brittle and my blood is inked.
Till it’s quiet enough for me to just be still. Just this once.
1 hour ago