How Shabby, Poetry
How soft and useless against a tank.
The dark fills up the streets like water.
We are all slogging through it, thigh deep--
the rising water is our century
and we feel helpless against it.
We are carrying whatever is precious—
a child, ourselves? That is what a poem is.
Let me touch you with the part of me
that is also you, and like lightning,
illuminate the nerves that carry the best of us
in this long night. That is all I want—
these few words I’ve shaken from the greater hoard
with my mind’s colander, the right ones only
for this utterance, this barely more than breath.
This small love. You’d be surprised
how just a little of it will get you through.