found while packing

About 17 years ago, when I was living in California the first time, I took the time to write out a rather long excerpt from an Adrienne Rich poem, “Incipience”. I had it on my wall for a few years, and have kept that piece of fading paper ever since. I found it this morning, and it spoke to me, again.

1. To live, to lie awake

under scarred plaster

while ice is forming over the earth

at an hour when nothing can be done

to further any decision

to know the composing of the thread

inside the spider’s body

first atoms of the web

visible tomorrow

to feel the fiery future

of every matchstick in the kitchen

Nothing can be done

but by inches. I write out my life

hour by hour, word by word

gazing into the anger of old women on the bus

numbering the striations

of air inside the ice cube

imagining the existence

of something uncreated

this poem

our lives

excerpt from “Incipience” by Adrienne Rich (in Diving into the Wreck)

(Shoutout to Erin Lynn Jeffreys Hodges who loves Adrienne Rich’s work)


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