A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature. Over 15,000 daily subscribers. Over 6,000 archived posts.
Devil’s truth, my brain is the size
of a pea, cannot hold 5,000
babies, dogs, vacations, comments,
circumcisions, breakfast muffins,
bald head radiations. Here’s a sad fact,
people are dying while other people
sip their mocha lattes. All the thresholds,
golden anniversaries, the Oscars of stay-at-home
celebrity, pass by like fast food signs.
I am wearing sweatpants, face unwashed,
teeth unbrushed, but I’ve posted
a photo of me all dolled-up in a fancy
sequined dress. I am just one of the throngs
of sad people looking for the corporeal bottom
of human loneliness. Is that, finally,
the ache we shed with the last breath. —
Fogged faces passing on a train, trees
and smoke and hills. Screens amok in thousands
and thousands of sorrowful rooms.
I am one of the many. I am here.
I am the size of a clip of hair.
I was promised solitude, but my navigation
system is collapsing. Taste my essence,
irrevocable losses, time stolen from
old coloring books—My wax crayons
tallied real marks. The sky is eclipsed.
We are pinholes. We are flagships.
I do have opinions, but no one cares to hear them.
Long ago, we smelled like fresh cut grass
and played outside until the dark.
Copyright 2023 Cynthia Atkins
Cynthia Atkins‘ many books include Still-Life With God (Saint Julian Press 2020). She lives on the Maury River of Rockbridge County, Virginia, with artist Phillip Welch and their family.