Today's poem is by Teresa Leo

After Twelve Months, Someone Tells Me It's Time to Join the Living

And I have, or will, I'm not sure which,
but who's to say how many weeks or months

are called for, because I've been there,
deeply there, with you, without you,

winding through the red rock cliffs, say,
in Arizona, a one-laner, all dirt and no guard rail,

driving, perhaps recklessly, the urge
to take my eyes off the road for a second,

strong, look over the edge, stronger,
or at least at the passenger seat,

empty of course, and so if that's the best
I can do, to drive and hug the inside edges

of the road and not look down so be it—
I am going somewhere, the desert maybe,

and when I get off this road,
the I that I am now will still carry

the you that you were then,
or maybe you will carry me:

a hawk gliding over the cliffs
with something in its claws,

just in my periphery,
and though I want to know

if the thing that's clutched so tightly,
so randomly, so in fact lovingly,

is dead or alive, there is no need
beyond the need to say this,

because it will not be able
to unbind itself, it will not shake loose.

I imagine its last thoughts,
if it is capable of thinking,

would be of what it's like to be airborne,
without the constraints of gravity,

free of the thing that fixes us here,
because maybe it's exactly the thing

we can't release that keeps us
on this side, among the living.

Copyright © 2014 Teresa Leo All rights reserved
from Bloom in Reverse
University of Pittsburgh Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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