"Serpenti"
IMPETUS

              --You must change your life.

                                               -Rilke







                                                                             

 Begin anywhere:  sleep

 on his side of the bed tonight.



 Tomorrow walk as though your head

 is filled with helium & your spine

 the string that holds it to the earth.



 Fill a gallery with something

 you have not yet made.

 Name your show I Promise.



 Buy a large piece of blue 

 paper.  The shade should be vast

 and deep and remind you

 of nothing.  Roll it carefully

 and carry it home on the bus

 cradled in your arm.

 Try not to pretend

 it is your child.



 Don't cry, but if you must

 don't stop.  Tears

 are only water and salt.

 You felt this way once before

 when you first moved 

 from fluid into air.



 It is no one's fault 

 you are more than halfway there.

 Surely you know that and are grateful

 to have come so far.  Just go.

 Just keep going.



(first appeared in Reed Magazine)

 


Kathleen Lynch writes poetry, fiction, and essays. She currently lives in the San Francisco Bay area where she serves on the Advisory Board of the Center for Literary Arts at San Jose State University.

 

 


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