sitting down to write a poem that is neither angry nor bruised.

by Michael King

second try, second try, i will
try, for the moment, to consider
the ways in which we are rinsed
by rains we didn’t ask for,
plans in sidewalk chalk ripple
down with our bloodstains

or i’ll write about the way my
voicemail box is full
because i’m afraid to delete any
messages because someday
i might need to hear my
mom say hello, casually,
no occasion but to say hello,
so i go on hoarding small love letters

even these, i admit, are stained a
bit indigo, my grief bleeding
into my gratitudes, all the
love and pain watercolor,
so i hush myself, whisper reminders
my poetry’s found its way back to
the light before, holds
lanterns, my poetry, for every gray bend