Volume 22, Number 4


As far as possible
be on good terms with all persons,
child, especially the spirits in your dreams who
don’t want you to think of them as simply
enjoyable imaginings. That’s how
fear and loneliness are born. Later, in the dark and
gentle night, tell them you’re sorry, write: “Dear
Hearts, I didn’t mean to kill you.
I didn’t mean for any of this to happen.”
just surrender, before they tase you.
Keep your cool and the far-off look in your eyes.
Listen, a little trickery can help in times of
mess and misfortune. But give it time. For
now, be yourself, true to your fatigue,
open to possibilities,
placid as virtue. No doubt,
questions will arise about the blood.
Remember to stay disenchanted, don’t tell your
story to anyone wholesome. To the press,
talk heroically about stars and trees. Pretend the whole
universe unfolds daily for the 5-o’clock news.
Vexation, yes, but only to the lesser, career-minded.
Whether or not it is clear to them,
x doesn’t mean anything;
y is the perennial highway to God. But don’t tell.
Zip your jacket quietly. Be cheerful. Head for the beautiful noise.

—Jeanie Tomasko