There But For

All strong emotion – even opposites – can taste of the same well.



There But For

I am taken with the hot animal
of my skin, grateful to swing my limbs
and have them move as I intend, though
my knee, though my shoulder, though something  
is torn or tearing.

from The moon rose over the bay. I had a lot of feelings. by Donika Kelly


                                                                   A stoplight turned green
at a crossroads, once – years ago – thick with traffic. That fumble
for a phone made uncomfortable, perhaps, by a sudden ring.  A seconds
pause for its handover from driver to spouse and a semi barreled through
where they would’ve been but were not.

                                                                 How grateful they must have felt. Alive
in the hot animal of their skins. Gratitude, a fierce taste in their mouths.
Survival, that same flare, metallic and faintly acid on the tongue, so easily
turns bitter. What to do with this turned corner and the startled after
when our gazes remain fixed in the before just over our shoulders.


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