World

by Lisa Harris


Perhaps you see a globe:
You think, a world is round;
a world spins. Continents
are misshapen feet, and
all around them lies blue water,
the color of a Scandinavian’s eyes.

Perhaps you see a million faces,
a blur of non-photogenic humanity,
a smear of intention,
like the first draft of a poem,
trying to name the unnamable.

Or you’re confronted by the world
as a library—with no Library of Congress
system—no codes on the book,
microfilm, thumb drives—
instead they are all together in a bin—
without order and inexplicable.

You find yourself dizzy and panting,
selecting and discarding, wishing
and hoping, damning and praying.

External and internal realities
bing and bong against each other.
Your work is cut out for you.
You admit what you do not know.

Then the world cracks open
and one thin ray of white light
shines on a fern frond and
beneath it? A small black stone.
Inhibition and fear fall from you—
dust you cannot see or smell,
but you feel lighter and well-
scrubbed, alive again. So you take
what you do know and you begin
again to name what you love—
him, her, a violet, a thunderhead,
the paw of a black dog touching
your leg, water on your skin,
snow flakes on your eyelash,
bitter spinach and sweet apple,
dripping peach and warm milk–
merging when you can with grace.

 

Category: Featured, Poetry, SNHU Creative Writing, SNHU online creative writing