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Category: Michelle Penaloza

I Read the Signs

the universe says

I should trust

the moon

and scatter some faith

among the stars

 

my mother says

always be prepared

for the proximity of failure

 

she carries disappointment

like a tiny box

doling out wisdom

like an infinite gift

 

*

 

the city will shut off

our water supply

a paper notice announces

from 11 pm to 7 am

 

while we sleep

some rerouting

will siphon something

to somewhere

underground

 

when you sleep

and I can’t

I trace the lines of your face

with my eyes

wondering about the ways

you might one day

break my heart

 

*

 

we are a people built for disappointment

for tragedy and pain

 

these are not lofty declarations

 

the ocean can attack an island from all sides

the volcano can break the earth beneath you

every single rooftop can be safe to walk upon

if your whole world is buried in lahar

from Poetry Northwest 11.1 Summer & Fall 2016More by from the library

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Used with the permission of the author
on behalf of Poetry Northwest.

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Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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