“Sitting together in the dark, waiting for something to happen.”
The meaning for the Inuit word: ‘Qarrtsiluni’
A yellow jacket sweating
on the blue-stained rim of the cup
I drink from in late December
is not normal. The last time
you touched my lips I still knew
nothing of my place here
but I felt abundant, I felt
big, I felt as big as an idea.
When the entire world opens
itself up to you like a new friend
you walk through what it offers
and find grace somewhere
on the ground of it like a penny
face up. It’s true, I have legs
and I have calfs and I have feet
that touch the ground. When I walk
—what a marvelous feeling.
At nineteen I learned not to make choices
without thinking and without thinking.
That warm December day, I looked up
to watch crows amass in skinny treetops.
They chattered amongst themselves
like scientists confirming a new species
had walked, naked, two by two,
into extinction. Which is quieter:
the first breath or the last?
Through empty branches, sunlight
spilled what was left of it
across the miraculous simplicity
we call Earth, until it found me
and the yellow jacket discussing the night
—underneath which we sat,
waiting for something to happen.
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