Like Crossword Puzzle Clues and Other Misnomers

Sometimes we count ourselves

like eggs before they’re hatched,

like chickens in the coop before the fox

has even been born. We pride ourselves

on keeping up appearances, on the length

of our stride, on the color of our eyes in photographs

from long ago. You and I were never so lucky

as roulette wheels and scratch tickets and slot

machines. Sometimes we land on our feet

like cats always do, like birds falling from

great distances and everyone thinks they’re

just flying, just swooping low. We take all we can

get and still feel a wanting deep in the pits

of our stomachs. You and I once tasted the

divine and said it tasted like burnt sugar,

like gravity after it was discovered. Sometimes

we place question marks after all of our sentences

like mystery novels, like jokes without punch lines. We

once tried to explain the meaning of life but it came out

sounding like we were singing show tunes.

You and I are lost in the woods and we keep circling

gods until we have nowhere left to search.



This poem rose out of a freewrite where I imposed several restrictions on myself including a pretty short time limit. I’m not sure I like the overall poem, but think it might be interesting for revision.


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