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Fight or Flight by Jessi Harrison

(for Dana…)

My first reaction is to run.

There is no fight. But I can fly.

 

For this, I am sorry.

 

You fought.

You built boxing rings

out of test results. Bowed

gracefully before each match.

Showed your opponent no mercy –

but made sure each hit was clean.

 

Me? I took a box of matches

to the mats the morning I woke

to permanent emptiness. I made the hospital

dance in gasolined blue/orange flames against

the grayest November sky ever etched

from Eden’s rough draft.

 

Hey God – you fucking missing a blueprint?!

 

I took your trophies out of the case

& bet it all on forgiveness.

 

Almost doesn’t count.

Almost is so close to complete.

Almost – is fucked.

 

Like – you almost had it beat a third time.

Like – you almost found happiness.

Like you almost won.

 

Like you almost knew how much you were loved.

Like we almost made it clear.

Like you almost stood a chance.

Like it was almost alright.

Like I almost said goodbye.

Like I’ll almost see you tomorrow.

Like it almost doesn’t hurt.

 

Like you are almost still here.

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What is Poetry? Part 2

 

What is Poetry? – Part 2

Poetry is the forsaken cry, the loneliest voices with the loudest minds,
captured in ink, blighted by drink, or bolstered,
emboldened with the bravado to think big,
to sing on a page,
to rage against the silence of days
spent drifting through the passive malaise,
the love of something and not for how it pays.

Poetry is the air up there, despair in the mind of a scribe
at not being able to fly, so it is
the flight of birds described by those who live in unknowns
to those who dream of being free.
Poetry is anything between a sucker punch or a long lunch,
a coupe de grace or a warm embrace.
It’s the lines of life in a face,
the wrinkled space between
never and eternity.