The Last Say
Call it an infestation of worms
floor-mapping your innards.
Call it an impossible current
directing you over the crater-fall
or a whispered breath ricocheting
inside your skull that whispers “Loser!
Fool! You have never belonged!”
But you must belong, you must let it burn you out,
possess you with its electrical charge. Turn on
the microphone and scream its ownership
over you. Call it debris – plastic bags in the belly
of a dolphin. Call it hot liquid iron rising
to seal your throat, lock it so you cannot swallow.
Imagine yourself a greenhouse and store
your treasure there, place your orphaned lizards
in vegetable beds and tell them they are safe,
give them a home to thrive in.
Don’t crash or perish, but open, stay open
even as your nerves are poltergeist-haunted
and the flower you grew, counted on to keep growing
is snapped at the stem, ground-level.
How can you change it? You can’t. It is summer.
The last day of school. You wanted to harness your heart,
give it a safety net far from the rocks,
but it is all a choice – autonomous.
This is your nest, put in it what you will.
Trust in the green juice inside your branches,
don’t let the ice-melting platform at your feet prevail.
God is tender so you must be too,
keep your tenderness afloat,
even when soaked in frigid water.
Let the pressure threaten
to kill you. It won’t kill you.
Loosen the knot and climb under
the jettison cliff’s edge.
Hang upside down. It is a long way to fall,
but your arms are strong and something stronger still
is holding you in its sustaining embrace.
© 2018 by Allison Grayhurst
Published in “Outlaw Poetry” June 2018
You can listen to the poem by clicking below: