V  P  R

Contemporary Poetry and Poetics




It’s supposed to be hard, pushing
Away or up, pulling down, feeling veins
Start, the arms out, then out more:

The slow extend, a trembling inch, more.
Get a grip. Let it ease back, the weight poised
On nothing but air, your breath packed

In, chest solid with it, and you can feel
For a moment what you’re here for, can’t you,
Flesh obdurate, the force of will

Alone holding it all there, the moment
Suspended like a drop not quite fallen
Yet, and you can imagine time

Stopped, yes, your body blocking the flow
Of things toward the inevitable—
Oh, not yet, not yet! You hold on to that

Not yet, let the breath out slowly,
And raise it all the way again, everything
You can lift, and more, and not enough.

© by Michael Dobberstein



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