Yes and No

— Jeremiah Moriarty

The lake at sunset.

Flannel shirts rough and evergreen-smelling, brought to life
by this, the new body. Despite myself,
             the pace of our lives is sometimes desperate.
And always,
             there is the question of my mental health, which
I think is a good one.
                                       Rising and rising,
curling with every stitch, and whether we’re ripening or rotting

is a matter of perspective. I watch the silver flecks on
the lake water, those small and delicate metaphors

for nothing at all.

             The night languishes purple in the corner of my eye, maybe
bringing rain and

order—the consequences of our choices. Up in the air, evanescent orange
send-ups to my loneliness next to you, the loving and the shame

all mixed up in me. The water’s opposite shores are neighborhoods of
lightness and darkness. Of cool, northern air.

             A rusty swing-set.                          A dog bark in the distance.

Little kingdoms in my view:
             an empire of yes and an empire of no. Several quiet happinesses are there
in you, I can tell—like bonfires on a long beach

—but I’ve still got things I want to do.

My answer to you? Yes and no, always yes
and no.

Read more from Issue No. 21 or share on Twitter.