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Category: Sarah León

New World

We’ve got these jobs now and indoor plants to place

in the corners and a park like every other

just steps outside the home, except ours

with only a handful of homeless. Yesterday marks

six months since a death in the valley. Goddammit,

I’m counting time again. How long since my last monsoon,

since I was walking a path

near an abbey and it was desert in all my days

like St. John’s long dark night,

and it was good. Martyrs are for the birds

and I am a bird for sure. First

there was sadness and then there was violence and always

there’s distance. I give in. Let’s count

the days up and down, position ourselves in relation

to loss. He’s made an expanse, he’s separated

the waters, he’s rested, and he’ll rest all the days.

I’ve started bus riding again, and I feel like a teenager

with a crush on the world. Here they all are

and there they all go, and who am I to them and they

to me, and will they be there tomorrow if I take the same route,

and what does it mean ever to see someone

do a human thing on the street and in the alley

and at the corner, and what do I mean

here, losing them again and again.

The loss isn’t mutual. There is something bigger happening

than a window to the world,

and that was the whole point, I suppose.

A little loss and ache

to get from point a to point b. A buckle in my breathing

because everyone else is happening.

from Poetry Northwest WEBMore by Sarah León from the library

Copyright © Sarah León
Used with the permission of the author
on behalf of Poetry Northwest.

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