BELIEVE

The stars are made of salt.
Scatter them on your country road
to melt the ice! There are stars enough
for all the winters you’ll make it through.
And the roses in July outside your door?
They want to be eaten. That’s why
they look at you so brazenly,
without shame. They speak directly
to your teeth and tongue. What else
should you add to your self-help notes
for the out-of-sorts, the unblessed, the bereaved?
Dust can be shaped into a comely
loaf of bread. It just needs some spit
and two good hands to believe in it—
it will surely rise—

***

SEVEN WAYS TO KEEP ON GOING

  1. Take on another language, an alphabet of bone and sinew and grit. Chew the gristle and learn by heart the songbook’s oldest songs before you try to speak your dead husband’s name.
  2. Draw his feet, long and elegant, the shape of them like two slim fishes. Take extra time with the toes you took into your mouth.
  3. Find the word that means “the sky after a swan has flown through.” A mute swan with wide white wings. The noun has been lost because too many fluent in this grasslands dialect, when they look up, see only emptiness.
  4. Remember everything.
    (No, don’t do that!)
  5. The hawk and owl feathers he found in the fields and kept in a jar on his desk—glue them to the hollow near your shoulder blades where you once had wings. You can wear his leather jacket then and it won’t look big.
  6. Observe the ways of insects. An ant uses the body of another ant to build a bridge over the gap between the planks on the deck so he can get to where he needs to go.
  7. Sleep on both sides of the bed. Confuse the cat.

***

Photo © Matthew Friedman

Bio Photo of Lorna Crozier © Angie Abdou