If the pain doesn’t come back, 
what will I write about? Will the poems 
have tendon and teeth? I didn’t get 
right the sonnet of all its colors. 
I did not find the exact dagger of phrase 
about the long loss of my life.

Hope is all I do and am. 
I don’t think I’m poet enough 
to make you taste this mango; 
or see that sutured sunset unless 
from a hospital bed. 
I was good for carving. 

There will be kisses, music, street names. 
Loved ones will go where the gone do. 
What if I don’t want to (write it: can’t) 
write about these things. 
What if I would rather feel 
than create feeling? 
What then? Go ahead. 

Copyright © 2024 by Liv Mammone. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on July 3, 2024, by the Academy of American Poets.