Worry stole the kayaks and soured the milk. Now, it’s jellyfish for the rest of the summer and the ozone layer full of holes. Worry beats me to the phone. Worry beats me to the kitchen, and all the food is sorry. Worry calcifies my ears against music; it stoppers my nose against barbecue. All films end badly. Paintings taunt with their smug convictions. In the dark, Worry wraps her long legs around me, promises to be mine forever. Thugs hijacked all the good parking spaces. There’s never a good time for lunch. And why, my mother asks, must you track beach sand into the apartment? No, don’t bother with books, not reading much these days. And who wants to walk the boardwalk anyway, with scam artists who steal your home and savings? Watch out for talk that sounds too good to be true. You, she says pointing at me, don’t worry so much.
I love the whir of the creature come
to visit the pink
flowers in the hanging basket as she does
most August mornings, hours away
from starvation to store
enough energy to survive overnight.
The Aztecs saw the refraction
of incident light on wings
as resurrection of fallen warriors.
In autumn, when daylight decreases
they double their body weight to survive
the flight across the Gulf of Mexico.
On next-to-nothing my mother
flew for 85 years; after her death
she hovered, a bird of bones and air.