When the world makes you cry uncle,
try high-fiving random strangers,
or building ice sculptures to look
like poets who died too young.
Run a marathon. Take an Italian
cooking class. Start bird-watching.
Yes, things are bad, but at least
most of us will never have to perform
a high-wire act or walk on hot coals.
Try thinking about a Scandinavian spa,
the first person you ever French-kissed.
The taste of strawberries. It is easy to forget
the good cop’s soothing voice in the corner
when the bad cop starts slapping you.
I guess what I am saying is we can be both
optimistic and scared, still gawk at sparrows
murmuring while waiting for the flood
to arrive. Two roads diverged in a __
blah, blah, blah. When the drummer quits,
maybe you have to stamp your feet.
The glass is half-empty, sure, but it is also filled
with Wi-Fi, Maine Coon kittens, a night sky
filled with constellations. That some stars
are dead and have been for millennia
is no matter. That they still shine reminds me
I am in good shape, despite my being
a shape everything else isn’t.
By Chris Banks