To survive this exile, you will need
to hold court with the moon, store the memory
of its light in a mason jar for later.
Understand: there’s no field guide for this,
for what you will encounter, for when the sluice
gate of your mind opens, for the whetstone
of your doubts or the homespun loop of Whys?
Even when your mind seems to have nothing left
to plunder, What if, in a certain key,
snags at your heart again. If you could dare
the feral child of time to stop cuffing your wrist
just to drag you down another detour, you might
just make it, but you can’t let go.
To survive this exile, plan for the times
your thoughts will turn to snapping turtles;
it’s safest to approach from behind. Beware the tail,
the backlash and tango of open possibilities.
Keep close the sprig of secrets that grow
just below your chest pocket. You’ll need poetry
to face this, and metaphors like blinkering flashlights
to pass among your people if you return.