Again a Solstice
It is not good to think of everything as a mistake. I asked for bacon in my sandwich, and then I asked for more. Mistake. I told you the truth about my scar: I did not use a knife. I lied about what he did to my faith in loneliness. Both mistakes. That there is always a you. Mistake. Faith in loneliness, my mother proclaimed, is faith in self. My instinct, a poor polaris. Not a mistake is the blue boredom of a summer lake. O mud, sun, and algae! We swim in glittering murk. I tread, you tread. There are children testing the deep end, shriek and stroke, the lifeguard perilously close to diving. I tried diving once. I dove like a brick. It was a mistake to ask the $30 prophet for a $20 prophecy. A mistake to believe. I was young and broke. I swam in a stolen reservoir then, not even a lake. Her prophesy: from my vagrant exertion I'll die at 42. Our dog totters across the lake, kicks the ripple. I tread, you tread. What does it even mean to write a poem? It means today I'm correcting my mistakes. It means I don't want to be lonely.
Copyright © 2010 by Jennifer Chang. Used with permission of the author.