Hesitation Theory

I drift into the sound of wind,
how small my life must be
to fit into his palm like that, holly
leaf, bluejay feather, milkweed fluff,
pin straw or sycamore pod, resembling
scraps of light. The world
slips through these fingers
so easily, there’s so much
to miss: the sociable bones
linked up in supple rows, mineral
seams just under the skin. I hold
my palm against the sun and don’t see
palm or sun, don’t hold anything
in either hand. I look up, look
away (what’s that?), I trip
and stumble (fall
again), find myself face down
in duff, a foam of fallen live oak
leaves, with only
this life, mine at times.

“Hesitation Theory” from Fata Morgana by Reginald Shepherd, © 2007. All rights are controlled by the University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, PA 15260. Used by permission of the University of Pittsburgh Press.
Source: Fata Morgana (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2007)
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