November 9

By Annika Lee


besides, aren’t we all white-knuckled loners

with spirits distorted by deferred longing?

didn’t we learn from our youth to stand still and quiet

in the burning, as fuel to a fire of unfulfillment?

but no, I say, no—and no again,

to make it muscle memory, habit of my hand and heart.

I demand something different. I saw a skeletal leaf,

a shadow of itself, dissolve in the course of a storm

but I demand life out of it again.

don’t you also dream of rebirth?

don’t you walk beneath the thunder,

and witness inescapable baptism?



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