i’m confident that the absolute dregs of possibility for this society,
the sugary coffee mound at the bottom of this cup,
our last best hope that when our little bit of assigned plasma implodes
it won’t go down as a green mark in the cosmic ledger,
lies in the moment when you say hello to a bus driver
and they say it back—
when someone holds the door open for you
and you do a little jog to meet them where they are—
walking my dog, i used to see this older man
and whenever I said good morning,
he replied ‘GREAT morning’—
in fact, all the creative ways our people greet each other
may be the icing on this flaming trash cake hurtling through the ether.
when the clerk says how are you
and i say ‘i’m blessed and highly favored’
i mean my toes have met sand, and wiggled in it, a lot.
i mean i have laughed until i choked and a friend slapped my back.
i mean my niece wrote me a note: ‘you are so smart + intellajet’
i mean when we do go careening into the sun,
i’ll miss crossing guards ushering the grown folks too, like ducklings
and the lifeguards at the community pool and
men who yelled out the window that they’d fix the dent in my car,
right now! it’d just take a second—
and actually everyone who tried to keep me alive, keep me afloat,
and if not unblemished, suitably repaired.
but I won’t feel too sad about it,
becoming a star
Copyright © 2024 by Eve L. Ewing. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 6, 2024, by the Academy of American Poets.