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