The other night I swooped around the living room to 80’s music: the Police, Prince, Queen. It was late. I was tired. But the day had been too much –all these days are too much, it’s been three and a half years now of too damn much–and the music brought back Vermont and my best friend’s lavender shirt and my red shirt and weekend nights on the Alibi’s tiny dance floor. So I danced it all out. Woke up next morning to the daily dose of awful news and, also, neighbors offering to deliver groceries and medicine, free home visits by a pediatrician, free online classes. Yes, fear and panic are in us, and so are generosity and kindness.
Sorrow Is Not My Name, by Ross Gay
—after Gwendolyn Brooks
No matter the pull toward brink. No
matter the florid, deep sleep awaits.
There is a time for everything. Look,
just this morning a vulture
nodded his red, grizzled head at me,
and I looked at him, admiring
the sickle of his beak.
Then the wind kicked up, and,
after arranging that good suit of feathers
he up and took off.
Just like that. And to boot,
there are, on this planet alone, something like two
million naturally occurring sweet things,
some with names so generous as to kick
the steel from my knees: agave, persimmon,
stick ball, the purple okra I bought for two bucks
at the market. Think of that. The long night,
the skeleton in the mirror, the man behind me
on the bus taking notes, yeah, yeah.
But look; my niece is running through a field
calling my name. My neighbor sings like an angel
and at the end of my block is a basketball court.
I remember. My color’s green. I’m spring.
—for Walter Aikens
For more information about Ross Gay, please check out his website.