the luckiest hear a voice. their name
chorded in a throat, heaved aloft,
and carried along the air within range
of their ready pulse : hope encanting,
decanting hope.
                              others, without audible
counterproof, believe they’ve called
themselves to the task, not knowing
how the heart responds to notes hummed
so low and loaded.
                                   some, like the moses
of israel, have a rod and god’s warrant,
and still can hardly get started.
like the moses of her people, have
mostly grit and motherwit, and still get
where they’re going.
                                      the rest of us
respond to our calling with longing risen
from chest to mouth : faint and fluttering,
or fierce and pumping so hard against
the tongue we can taste it.
                                                we stutter
towards the horizon we believe in : if
not moving through the sea or under
the ground, performing our own small,
unpromised miracles.

from “the fare-well letters”

dear mid-afternoon nap,

            allow me. no, after you. to
take a break and make it.
            last, forever. what’s up with
the pointy ears? what planet
            are you from? questions as
old as the stars. scars. slurs. we
            go boldly into new worlds, all
our expectations intact, no new
            ideas: secret hopes of meeting
our own warped selves in poor
            disguise. gauzy. hazy. who’s
he? you. me. wake up, wake up,
            whenever you are! mourning
bells. hear? ring, rang, wrong.

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