For Peggy Munson
That you must accept
what you cannot prevent. That fear inverts
the meaning of success. That you can be fearless
when fear is all you have.
That fear is all you have.
That you aren’t alone in loneliness,
there’s a whole world here,
a pregnant, fascinating glimpse,
all stomach and hips,
of the life-creating love
you’re finally sick enough to feel.
That that glimpse can't stop you from melting
into the futures you fear
you will and will not have.
That you have, you still have,
everything you need to live:
night, ice, plums, a lap and a laptop, a name, a parent,
whipped cream, gossip, steaming plates
of life and death.
That this is the end of the world.
That you will survive it.
From The Future Is Trying to Tell Us Something: New and Selected Poems (Sheep Meadow Press, 2017). Copyright © 2017 by Joy Ladin. Used with the permission of the author.