Bryce Canyon National Park

This is how it goes.

Colleagues clog my arteries.
Friends throttle my throat.
Family pops me inside out.
Like fresh squid on a grill.
Lovers skewer, leave, return
to baste and lambast,
to flip to the other cheek.
As I hiss and spit, some hand
that once held mine
should spurn and mean to fry,
then lay me on a bed of ice to chill.

As I look up from the ice bath,
from the den I made myself,
maybe I’m four flailing grasshopper legs;
maybe I’m the cruel boy plucking to make them three.
Like tomorrow is only his.

I can’t deny the sun that dries me on the line,
that I’m also the fisherman hanging out the tentacled lives.
That the pity I’ve self-marinated in for days
is my own recipe. That I wrote the book
on self-kabobing.
That I’m the connoisseur of navel-gazing,
sucking the marrow out of self-contempt.

There are only so many lines you can write about victimhood
until you are drained, until you dust off.
So I nibble a microbite of warm content
out of this old pattern, this old maze I’ve run,

out of hunger
not of thoughts

the way forgiveness blossoms
on a random jog

the way some cartoon creature unclips himself
from the clothesline or cross, where he hung unsung
after being steamrolled
the way that technically he was fine
all along

the way the red flower
amid landmarklessness
determines a bee

and poverty
enriches vision
of the desert
friend or no friend

this is where I begin and begin again


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About writingseraph

I write. I share. I test out language here.

3 responses to “Gratitude”

  1. jr says :

    I don’t do poetry, but I do this.

  2. thehungryartist says :

    I really enjoyed this poem. I liked the imagery a lot, and I like the idea you convey about breaking out of not so productive habitual ways of thinking.

  3. Timothy Tiernan says :

    Thank you for the kind comments. That means a lot, JR, cuz I feel “I don’t do poetry” quite a bit. And Melissa, I looked at your blog and your visual work and I wonder if I could talk to you about a collaborative idea some time. Happy New Year, Tim.

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