Stable

There must be something I forgot to worry about.
That panic trying to lodge behind your breastbone
is useful energy, like the Reversing Falls,
for the right person. Who are you, anyway?

After several days on the respirator your sense of identity
can slip, leaving all that buoyed you up
unknowable. You drown in your strange body,
a terrified machine among machines.

You come out of it a step closer to the stars,
each self a story among other stories.
It’s surprising how little your spirit really needs:
my letters to Santa went into the stove,

blackened to negatives, restless, flew up the chimney
on hope to the North Pole. O Canada
during your fireworks last night
many of us felt ash fall on our upturned faces.

From Domestic Economy