The Poetry Project

Renia White

I am not prepared for the inverse of this.

if everything always brings with it its opposite,
every time something happens, one can ask
“what if it hadn’t?” xxxx and still be relevant

how dangerous a logic we’ve made

proof is what happens afterward, to show us
the during was true. we had to find a way
to promise what we are doing is worthwhile

so we decided to imprint the now
for later, after

perhaps we cannot be trusted to remember.
perhaps we know that a new dream is a correction
of the old one, no matter what we mean to feel.

so you walk the street two minutes too late,
and so you live, or miss your old lover, or your new one,
or xxxx in pursuit of ourselves, we can meet another us
and so on.

xxxxxxxx then, one day, a sad woman enters you and clears
xxxxxxxx your desk. xxxx says, “I am the new”

and what do you say to such a gentle intrusion?
so sure of itself?

you’ll think someone else organized it.
you’ll think it must be yours.

in case you’d consider it

a vacation is a personal decision
a sign you hang in your own script

I am a woman made of flesh (first in this
context) and, somehow, the cashier asked
the second woman in line for her order

I have never understood my look
and how others understand it

I have things I wanna hide from, but
for every bridge I’ve built above, I’ve jumped
back below xxxx into my own blue rummage

I’ve never kept anything I feared I wouldn’t,
my anxieties have been proven, and perhaps
the knuckle and gash of the world
are true as a timeclock is true

but I am on vacation from that ache
on vacation from the way it looks and what
it brings. xxxx don’t have to answer to it

because I declared not now.
and some things are respected, once claimed
some things get what they’re due

Issue 19