Poem: You Are The Place You Cannot Move

Credit: Panagiotis Siokas
You wake up healthy
but you don't feel right. Now everything's
backwards and you're thinking of someone to blame.

And you do, you're lucky,
drinking coffee was easy, the traffic's
moving along, you're like
everyone else just trying to get through the day
and the place you're dreaming of seems possible--
somewhere to get to.

All you really know
is that it hurts here, the way feelings
are bigger than we are, and a woman's face
in a third-story window, her limp hair
and the pots of red geraniums luring you
into her suffering until you're walking on roads
inscribed in your own body. The maps
you never speak of. Intersections, train stations,
roadside benches, the names of places and
people you've known all bearing the weight
of cashing a check or your having to eat something,
of glimpsing the newspaper's ghoulish headlines.

Like everyone else, you think,
the struggle is toward a better time, though
no pressure surrounds the house you were born in.
Cool, quieter, a vast primitive light
where nothing happens but the sound
of your sole self breathing.
And you've decisions to make. Isn't that why
you've come? with a bald-headed man at the bar
and your friends all over the place, anxious,
tired, a little less sturdy than you'd hoped for
and needing someone to kick around, someone to love.

~ Ralph Angel

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