Jump into space
between couplets like the pause
right before I inhale
that joyful awareness, nothing
to surmount. All the stone fortresses
open their secret rooms. It’s dark.
The air is heavy. Sometimes I fall
into numbness, waking with a start
I am afraid to follow. And still
I carry a light. I have chosen
this darkness. It is mine. I claim
my deep intelligence present here.
As a goldfinch lands, twittering
I’m on a glider; golden light slants
across my warm skin. The sun is
too brilliant, even the reflected glory
in the lake causes me to bow.
Part of this poem dances in
and I without a pen.
Charmed and heartened, I marvel
rapt like an audience who owns
the very book I quote. Finally
running into the house for tools
allow that cursive flow along the
lines and I feel fine so in a bit
I’m grabbing my guitar to play
and sing just anything and yes
this notebook, bizarre and strong
is with me: I believe my voice
needs to resonate this grounded
heart into the frequency of we.
Sitting drenched in early evening sun
strong and lovely, my skin crinkly.
Joy comes when words surprise
me and the family secrets fling
the doors wide and sashay in
with winks and raucous levity.
Even the dark ones, villains, long
excluded from our happy tale–
I burp when they appear in any
healing moment, that is, only now.
I’m going into more far-flung places
and the house is reeking with bleach
so I can’t enter. Perhaps I’ll sleep
here–never knowing which heavy being
keeps splashing under the dock right
below me–with mosquitoes and bats and owls.
I have caged myself in fear.
The pretty smile barely masks
the numb places. Oh, hey, celebrate:
they are i am we made it here.
I whisper in my ear outside of time,
loving that little child, giving secret
snippets of what is essential right now.
Loving the powerful adult writing here.
Jericho Brown, you’ve changed me. Once
a couplet seemed like too much hand
holding, escorting my reader down
the path. Take a breather. Relax
before this next line really takes you
to a new place. Jump into space