The question

What do I believe?

I believe I am the biggest mystery
I don’t know what 13.7 billion means
Or even 4.5 billion, beyond being about
One-third of 13.7
I don’t know
Yet each atom in me
Was already there

I believe I am a vessel
Emptying to hold you
A golden bowl about to
Transmit the music before time
An answer involuting to become
The question

Be fearless

Be fearless
When the sleeping scream stirs from its
Slumber
When the crimson stain spreads and becomes
Unavoidable
When the grip around your throat
Tightens
When your breath becomes loud and
Labored

Be fearless
For you are now well beyond bald-ing
And tears fell and made ripples well before we
Named them

Keep your gates open

Stop
Keep your gates open
You who are made of clouds and rain
Who crest and ebb with the moon
Who make mighty suspension bridges and
Sky scrapers seem elementary
You whose stride spans galaxies
Whose heart is in a blade of grass
Whose sight in the night sky says
You are mine

Don’t drop the portcullis just because
You are afraid of being destroyed by
A small child or a stray dog
Or by the smell of dirt
Or by the riot of cherry blossoms in
April when they make such direct
Eye contact

Fire

Pressure in the cooker is mounting
I take the cap off and

The molecules of
Vaporized water bottleneck at the minute opening
Like people in a dark movie theater after
Someone yells “FIRE!”
Trampling propelling each other to hurry up
As if their lives depended on it
An upward-widening cone of shooting steam
Relieved as it is released
Missing the warm packing of
Its confinement
Embarrassed and surprised by the
Perseverance of its need to exit
Unsure of what comes next

I pause and breathe in and
Then out

I am not

I am not who you think I am
I am not made of teflon
Or steel or whatever else
You equate with strength and
Resilience
I am not kind or benevolent
Or considerate or selfless
I am not for you at
The expense of myself
I am not brimming with altruism
I do not walk through life like
Jesus
I am not large and magnanimous and
All welcoming
I cannot turn the other cheek
When you are careless with your
Palm
I am simply human
Broken
Doing my best in
The skin that at times feels too
Tight