Set it aside, regret, heal. Grieve
till the soil’s ebony heart
devours your secrets. Believe,
in agony, what falls apart,
disintegrates at your feet. Art
rends your flesh: nervous I transmit
false signals, flinch when I should start,
weep when I should wave, counterfeit
my life’s lessons. Mosquitoes flit
through the unscreened window. Do I
ever claim this life as misfit,
as hopeful dupe? Watch the man lie
and conspire. Swat at the bugs. Lift
the mottled spade. Accept this shift.
* * *
“Flinch” first appeared in Grand Little Things, a publication that “embraces versification, lyricism, and formal poetry,” in July 2020.
Thank you, editor Patrick Key, for taking this piece.