Meanwhile Snowflakes Scatter in the Sunshine


“I’ve made a nest in the unknown.”

—Joi Sharp

What I hold in my hand, this uncertainty.

How it loses its shape like the clouds.

First bulbous, then striated, then not there at all.

How conviction eludes me sometimes, like the smell

of a summer lake on this graysome January day.

Or like the memory of bittersweet chocolate

that has melted past the tongue, its taste spent away.

And what can I trust? Can I trust these bones?

These cells of skin rearranging and rearranging,

rearranging again? I know hunger. Want. I know

the grass is brittle now—bent, spent, strawlike tufts.

I know that last summer’s cottonwood leaves

are matted, decaying, a moldering rust.

I know that the wind is insistent today—

breeze turns to brash turns to gust.

And I know in these hands, I cup uncertainty,

cradle it like something delicate and soft.

As if to name it would kill it, would drain it

of luster. As if to point and label and splay

its bright wings would kill the mystery,

unweave the holy cloth. And the brain says,

be certain. Name it. You don’t know enough.

And the blood says, be still. You’re uncertain.

Now widen your ears and hush.

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