after swallowing a lightbulb

J. David

it takes faith

to hurl stones at the moon, believing they land

in a place we can touch

some days, it is possible

to love something enough

to forget

the number of times

your life

came up short

i was perhaps in love with you forever

that time holding bees

in the yard,

which had maybe died

knowing nothing about stars

or parachutes,

but reminded you

we are only as big

as our hearts in a crowd

and when you sent that letter saying

          there are no good neighborhoods,

          people are everywhere

i knew your heart was failing,

so i built buildings

out of hands

made from listening

and the question became less about suffering

and more about whether or not

i wore galoshes

to bed

and each morning

you’d point to the fire

escape and say

          in case of emergency,

          this is how mercy works


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