us

in your arms
it was incredibly often
enough to be 
in your arms
careful as we had to be at times
about the I.V. catheter
in my hand,
or my wrist,
or my forearm
which we placed, consciously,
like a Gamboni vase,
the center of attention,
placed, frail identity
as if our someday-newborn
on your chest—
to be secluded, washed over
in your arms
often enough, it was
in that stillness, the only stillness
amidst the fears which wildly collided
and the complexities
of the illness, all the work
we had yet to do, had just done,
the hope, ridiculous ammounts of it
we had to pump
from nothing, really,
short-lived consensus
possibility & experiment
to access
from our pinched and tiny minds
just the idea of hope
make it from scratch, air and water
like manufactured snow
a colossal fatigue
the severe concentration
of that, the repetition of that
lifted for a moment
just above your arms
inevitable, pressuring
it weighed down
but remained above
like a cathedral ceiling,
strangely sheltering
while I held tightly 
while there I could
in your arms
only there, the only stillness
remember the will,
allow the pull, tow against inevitable ebb—
you don't need reasons to live
one reason, blinking in the fog,
organically sweet in muddy dark
incredibly often enough
it is, it was
in your arms

 

Tory Dent, "Us" from Collected Poems. Copyright © 2015 by Tory Dent.  Reprinted by permission of The Sheep Meadow Press.
Source: Collected Poems (The Sheep Meadow Press, 2015)