A POEM A DAY

I'm just happy to be here.

12/30: WITH THE UNIVERSE AS MY WITNESS

After Anis Mojgani

I am invincible
Look at my eyes on no sleep.
My eyes on no sleep still look
you in the eyes 
My eyes on no sleep are so perfect
I’m actually never going to sleep again.
I am invincible. 

Today while walking through the hall,
me and my no sleep eyes
are seen by a pair of kind eyes. 
I am told I am always so smiley. 
I think on it: true. 
Before walking away, 
I say back: It is my gift. 
When I think of my gift, 
I no longer feel cursed.
With the universe as my witness,
I am invincible. 

When I make sweet tea, nothing goes wrong.
One morning, I woke before being told. 
When I am too tired to move
I lay my heavy legs against the floor like
a crested wave reaching the shore
after a long-traveled journey. 
I am invincible. 

Have you ever seen my butt?
It’s organic, makes all my pants panic.
It shoots for the moon and reaches for the stars
because my butt is basically a sky.
Your sky.
I am invincible.

I can make my no sleep eyes cry
if the moment means enough.
I can make any moment mean
enough, just give me the wind, 
or a line in a song, like this one:
your love belongs to everyone 
(Jose Gonzales, Open Book)
or I can look at pictures of my niece
whose cheeks look like Fredericksburg
peaches I would eat with her daddy 
both our sticky hands steady 
through the summers of our childhood
when the two of us would chase 
each other around til our sweat boiled
in the backyard of grandma’s garden
and grandpa’s shed. 
I am invincible. 
Even if my no sleep eyes are small
almonds missing their shot to blossom,
I choose this act, this scene, this line
I thought of without even thinking 
keeps my fingers moving, if I were a bird
you’d call this flying. 

I am invincible.
But I am not invulnerable
Look at the armor around my heart
Look at how many pathways a knife
like guilt could take to prove
I am not invulnerable. When I heal,
I move much too fast. Doctors don’t know
what to do, on account of, I hide the truth.

And the truth is, sometime ago,
I began to preface what I say with 
it’s okay, before the sentence could 
even begin. I reach conclusions in
which I give acceptance I did not ask
for but with reasons I now must defend.
I want to sing, I’ll do anything to be happy
(Noah and the Whales- Blue Skies)
But anything is lazy and I cannot know
the sum of my strength unless I weigh
my weaknesses. 

When I look at who I am in the mirror, I smile
before sorrow can say hello.
This is my gift. With the universe as my witness, 
I am invincible. 

11/30: OBJECTS OF MY AFFECTION

ol’ hereditary hoarder
ol’ bargain-buyer baller
ol’ dress for less loyalist
ol’ king of keepsakes

when will what I hold be
enough? If I comb
the knots out of my closet,
and I do not give an answer
to each questionable relic
wondering where my
eyes have been,
is the object
wrong to expect
my affection?

of course, i’m a sorry warden.
each object of my affection
only knows desire
as a lie in the eyes
only knows attention
as a glimpse of light—

In the dark spaces of my past
I am an awful oracle.

each object of my affection
remains a portable miracle:
not the thing itself, but
the king of the thing
two tricks
short of sainthood.
Yes, I kept something
I kept something alive
though I did not care about its life.
Isn’t this enough?

10/30: PROTECT YO HEART

Protect Yo Heart but do not think less of love’s failures (your own failures)

Protect Yo Heart but do not pretend a cage is the same thing as a window 

Protect Yo Heart but do not go to war with kindness 

ii 

Protect Yo Heart or disrespect the irresistible past and crash the castle (like a kiss)

Protect Yo Heart or choose stuffed French toast over forgiveness (syrup is sweet work)

Protect Yo Heart or repeat the same thing over like a stubborn general (count the sad battles as blessings)

iii

Protect Yo Heart and raise your right hand, pledge allegiance to the responsibility of joy (what lies in the husk of morning is a trifling tyranny)

Protect Yo Heart and think of the body’s troubled history (still living in the skin sin-like)

Protect Yo Heart and do not think less of love’s failures.

9/30: the last refuge

patriotism is the last refuge for the scoundrel and if angels were to govern men, government wouldn’t be necessary because no men are above the law but the law is in limbo or the law is a game of limbo, or the law is limbo, i dunno, I mean i can’t tell you why i bought a paperback copy of the Federalists or why our founding documents are nothing more than a series of serious lists but after watching this season of Homeland, I feel like I’m surrounded by scoundrels, sour sailors swimming in this sovereign sea; the deep structure of any good government is disguised as a promise we call balance but break because sorrow is the only reason we believe in going any further.