I set out to write what mattered to me –
that is, to send new arms bursting from the wounds festering on my heart,
to dip new fingernails into my soul’s visceral ink,
to etch on sacred canvas the mirror image of the dreams that roiled chainlessly in my brain.
I set out to write
The rays of sunshine that brushed my shoulder en route to something grander
The hurricanes that scrambled my arithmetic and gutted my humble home
The Great Pacific mother making peace among the tears
Of archenemies that stream down different gutters into the same holding tank.
But they said
write about what matters to everyone
what everyone can understand –
or if they don’t understand
it’s only because they aren’t on the right side
of what’s left of Washington
So I began to write
A cookie-cutter heart sweetened with the leading brand of cliché
An impending cumulonimbus pregnant with enough burgers to arrest a metropolitan cardiac
A plastic polar bear, grinning, skull-like, between the Eiffel Tower snow globe and the latest President bobblehead
But they said
your subject matter is overused;
already billions of identical voices
fuel starships of the same make and model
to drag the same banner ads
across the universe
which is in itself a cliché.
Photo taken by Anne Seaworthy, on the Linfield College Wellness Trail in McMinnville, Oregon.