The Stir of Your Avoided Life

Vincent Guerra | Poetry

You didn’t wake
in dewy blue bitter

panic or prairie
june or spangle grass—

no field, no shopping-
cart encampment

of tarpaulin and toddler’s
clothes—though wet-

though whelmed

in bottled-
up a.m. light, your

lungs confined like tidal
anemone or beds

of strawberries tucked
in their black plastic

sheeting. You can
get used to almost

anything—strip mall
flowers for startle, a sit-com

for cloister—you
can go entire

days without feeling
anything at all.

No one’s your
rouser, no one

your awful salts;
calm is

an alarm in a beige
waiting room—is you,

the alarm.