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I Wonder If I Need the Rapture or If I Could Just Swallow A Catastrophe and Call It Good by Kelli Russell Agodon

I Wonder If I Need the Rapture or If I Could Just Swallow A Catastrophe and Call It Good
Kelli Russell Agodon

Find me at a party socializing with someone’s cat.
Pull a decade from my dress and find what’s left
of the bliss sewn the hem.

In a perfect world, we would slow dance
with someone we love, we would hold childhood
in our palm and call it a foal.

What we love frolics with its mother, while we ache
for our sins. Walk through a field without disturbing
a spider’s web. Turn off the news

when a javelin is thrown through the screen
into your heart. Yes, you are worried—fear
has been our blanket for years.

Yes, you are home alone so your mind
is cashing in every anxiety chip. Bet on less.
Forget the radishes at the store and be joyful

that you did. There are too many false fangs
in the necks of the ones we love. Bite lighter.
Use your lips. Know the lightning

you believed would kill you didn’t. Not every wolf
harms, many just want to find their way
back into the forests we keep cutting down.

MARGINALIA

1.
Admittedly, I am not good with people. On occasions when I had to be at a friend’s house for a gathering, I was most likely the one playing with a dog. Or helping someone’s son find all the owls in the picture. Or sitting at the back listening to everybody else talk about politics and real estate and other adult things. What is an introvert, you might say. Or possibly: is this a preference for uncomplicated, authentic interactions over societal norms?

2.
Do you ever evoke your past with tenderness, or do you eventually let it be shadowed by the acknowledgement of personal mistakes? How do we navigate life without causing unintentional harm?

3.
What I know: that gentleness matters. Not all threats are as perilous as they seem, and not all fears are realised. The wolf at my door—didn’t it just want to come home, here in my chest where it will remain feral and loved?

KEEP READING
The Journal Issue 45.3SOURCE

This poem appeared in The Journal, Issue 45.3. Shared here with profound gratitude.

ENDNOTES
DEAR READER

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