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The Spark

I wrote this happiness myself.

I chose this man, this house, this cat.

I put my shadow twin

upstairs in the leaf of a

mediocre book I thought

never to open again. I felt grateful.

Upstairs there were many

photo albums with gluey pages

and yellowed Mylar in between

which Polaroids had come

unstuck. In them happy children

pitch tents, watch TV,

open presents, and smile before

homemade birthday cakes.

Had I known them? I knew

that I was not missing them

or missing out and thus my heart

was full. But, I thought,

should phosphorus mix

with potassium chlorate

and hit the gaseous air,

this man, this house, this cat,

be lost, what then? They’d join

the many other dead

whose memories I tend.

I cannot miss. My heart is full

and grateful. But, I thought,

while I still could, should

neural plaques and tangles

knot my mind, my heart would

empty and all of this would

cease to be. I could not miss it,

nor even this, my spark.

from DruthersFind more by Jennifer Moxley at the library

Copyright © 2019 Jennifer Moxley
Used with the permission of Flood Editions.

Published in Jennifer Moxley Poems

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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.