In the suffocating gray of late
winter, whatever you believed
you’ll no longer believe. Try
to be deliberate, measured,
as the feather-flakes that sting
your face awake as you blunder
against the wind, walking west
to work, away from sunrise,
as if the sun could be seen.
Your glasses will fog and drip
with disappearing wings. Today
is a great day to rearrange
the way you look at everything.
You will towel off your lenses.
You will live without her touch.
The mountains ahead, you’ll find,
turn out to be hovering clouds.
By standing utterly still,
you’ll fall backward into failure.
Wipe your dripping nose, teacher.
Slouching in chairs, the class will pretend
not to notice your lack of success
in one final lesson on praise.
They will live without a clue. Soon,
you’ll hand over the instruments
without protest. Hold out your wrists,
prisoner. On your own recognizance,
you will be released.
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