What my daughter found
on a bloodied trail in the Tetons,
cutting short her early morning hike.
Nature unencumbered. Naked. Raw.
Without resolve. Bear or mountain lion,
maybe a moose, she says.
She lives to tell about it.
Though it could have been otherwise.
Aren’t we always a half-breath between
forever and nevermore? Tight-rope
Cat lost in a crawlspace for eight days.
You either find him or not.
Distraction at an intersection,
car careens through a red light,
Mercedes or jalopy, it doesn’t matter.
A young woman’s mania comes back. One spark
and the whole planet is burning.
The pizza burns. Your poem gets published
in the New Yorker. No one reads it.
Everyone reads it. You eat the pizza.
At night you hear a scratch on a screen
outside your window. Cicada or
perpetrator. You cut off the light,
pull the covers over your head.
you either wake up or you don’t.