Bio Note: I was hospitalized for 3 weeks after being hit by a car/SUV while riding my bike on a rural road. While in ICU and the first week on a neuro floor I was restrained (for my own safety) and confined. The poems I wrote after being discharged and receiving outpatient rehab to navigate the world of nausea and vertigo are in some ways in gratitude for freedom. The last poem I wrote before my traumatic brain injury was an ekphrastic response—an acrostic poem celebrating bricolage. By the time I recovered, the deadline to submit it had long passed.
Beauty will soon be lost. Even loss can be beautiful. Render some new stanza from the jellyfish grit of rejections. Invite sea creatures to reach cruising borders. Choose books over bombs, art before deep sleep. Oceans dissolve the salt of deadlines and the density of bad dreams. Luminous clouds float over the last wishes of still-born babies. Artists use the glue of insomnia to cobble together acts of resistance. Galleries display taxidermied trophies while we squint at the lost light of stars. Extend each line’s reach beyond the horizon and past the printable margin.
swaddle the baby in Budapest with cashmere blankets train muscles to contain the anatomy of a trapeze artist change name to hold the magical alliteration of Harry Houdini learn to leverage intellectual attitudes to your advantage obtain patents and copyrights to halt copycat performances place fans behind clear glass conceal your pain behind a curtain of fabric escape airtight caskets, milk cans, straitjackets marry your assistant search for happiness until your appendix leaks and bacteria claims a lethal chain.
Forget feathers, flight itself is out of her reach She can’t afford a jaunt into space, she can’t encounter usable air above one hundred thousand feet. She’s heard of women whose certified ceiling is forty-five thousand but she has nurtured no close connections with them, no blood kin that shatter the glass ceiling yet walk away without needing stitches, skin scarred with jagged pink lines and tender bald patches. She understands at the cellular level, she breeds hope by tracking more miles. A faster pace and longer distance provide her with a map scale to notice and measure ephemeral concepts like faith and hope. After setting a record in her personal races she can even see clearly in dim tarnished mirrors--her lenses clouded with cataracts she does not need the forgiving light cast by candles to notice beauty. Some mornings even the drab female finches shine with jeweled bright feathers. Her lines break her rhymes loosen at just the right places.
©2022 Jenna Rindo
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