Ars Poetica

Poetry should begin as a splinter
A bodily irritation, mild
panic caused by a wet deck and bare
feet. A small sharp stab.
The rubber kiddie pool,
Benjamin up that tree,
And a popsicle abandoned in grass–
Melting down
You plop yourself in a garden chair,
ankle resting on your bent knee,
yank your foot up for inspection.

There, the dark line under your skin:
the splinter, the poem.
Don’t push it down! You need tweezers
It comes out bloodlessly, to your surprise
A secret thing, to hold in your palm
and whisper to.

Once it has begun, a poem cannot lie
or echo back without adding.
It smashes words with hammers
to find what
might be glittering inside.

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