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A Fragile Thing

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I've been told
by a poet better than I
to write what you know
to figure out what you don't

and what I do know
is that I don't know me.

There are things I haven't learned.
There are things I haven't been taught.
There are things one can't teach.
There are things one really can.

Seriously.

To whistle would be
nice.
Or wink.
Or make my mother’s scrambled eggs,
heavy with butter.
Or to say “I don't know,”
or shut up when I do.
Or talk to strangers without wanting the Earth to swallow me whole,
to be carried away by a riptide of faces,
lost in the crowd,
my identity washed away,
holding myself up
on someone else's legs.

Perhaps I am a fragile thing,
or perhaps not;
You're reading this
aren't you?
It's not so easy
to reach into
the choppy waters of my brain
and yank out a writhing
fish of a thought.
I pinned it to a page
and it became a poem.

The hard part,
honestly,
is letting it go.





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