Western Edge

I need you 
the way astonishment, 
which is really just 

the disruption of routine,
requires routine. 
Isn’t there

a shock, though— 
a thrill— 
to having done

what we had to?
Unequally, but
in earnest, we love

as we can, 
he used to mumble, 
not so much his

mouth moving, 
more the words 
themselves sort of 

staggering around lost 
inside it . . . Now
show me 

exactly what
you think being brave

Copyright © 2023 by Carl Phillips. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on April 7, 2023, by the Academy of American Poets.