Posts Tagged ‘discomfort’




Sometimes, she said, being uncomfortable

is what we need to do.


And I think of the scald of hot water,

how it cleans the stain.


How being covered in abrasive fuzz

is the only way to harvest the peach.


How the seed is carried by the burr.

It is human to seek pleasure, shun pain.


But think of the tree, how it lets

the gale rip away what is dead.


And the grape, how it bubbles

and foams before it becomes wine.


And the cactus, how it needs the drought

as much as it needs the rain.

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The edge is not so far out as I think.
See—it is shallow. The red and green fish
with thick purple lips tug on the coral reef.

I float between their feast and the terrible air,
battered by waves, surprisingly still, then kick,
feather my arms, flutter kick, and oh! The bottom

of the sea drops from so close that I think I will scrape
my knees to so deep I cannot see through the blue
to the bottom. I lift my head and note

that the shore is not so far away, but my god,
I think, I’m in deep. At the edge: Pink heads
of coral. A long, white fish with a long white nose. Black

spotted fish poking through the holes. And all that
bottomless blue. My body must look
like a floating exclamation point, but my mind is all

question mark. Am I safe? Is this real? How deep does it go?
What else lives here? What more can I see? Everything seems
worth noticing. I swim the edge as long as I dare.

Tell myself I must go in, there are children waiting there.
But part of me says, You’re are scared. I’m just learning
to wave, learning to deep, learning to tide,

learning to breathe at the edge where the tug
goes in all directions, even these places
where the light will never reach.

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