Psaltery Body

What if I
one day
don’t rise?

What if phenomenality
breaks and rolls
down King’s mountaintop?

What if what doesn’t kill me
makes me want to die?

I think these thoughts at least once a day.
I open my eyes and wonder at the weather.
Will rain be the thing that keeps me from worshiping at the altar of

Will my choice of bread and eggs and mayo in my fridge
be less appealing than the four fast food restaurants and their cheap delicious

I place my heels on the floor of my hundred year old bedroom
in my house that may be holding up the hill
all on its own.
Will it fall and take the hill with it?

I steady my belly and lift it as it lifted the four people I grew beneath my heart.
I tell those four people they can grow whatever they want
under their hearts.
Other humans aren’t all hearts can grow.

I stretch the corners of my mouth
from one side of the mirror to the other
finding it remarkable that those same teeth have bitten back so many
unchewable circumstances.

Will the silver and white clouds gathering
around my thinking
finally break today?
And pour forth their decades of rain?

I move thighs against one another.
They greet and hug like women with Bibles and fans and seasoned skillets.
I am blessed.

What if this
is enough
for now?

What if ordinary
stretches and swings
all the way to Clifton’s fifty-eighth year?

And by some miracle the scars of disbelief
Quietly in an alto minor key.
Rising slowly. Phenomenal dignity.


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