Again a Solstice
It is not good to think of everything as a mistake. I asked for bacon in my sandwich, and then I asked for more. Mistake. I told you the truth about my scar: I did not use a knife. I lied about what he did to my faith in loneliness. Both mistakes. That there is always a you. Mistake. Faith in loneliness, my mother proclaimed, is faith in self. My instinct, a poor polaris. Not a mistake is the blue boredom of a summer lake. O mud, sun, and algae! We swim in glittering murk. I tread, you tread. There are children testing the deep end, shriek and stroke, the lifeguard perilously close to diving. I tried diving once. I dove like a brick. It was a mistake to ask the $30 prophet for a $20 prophecy. A mistake to believe. I was young and broke. I swam in a stolen reservoir then, not even a lake. Her prophesy: from my vagrant exertion I'll die at 42. Our dog totters across the lake, kicks the ripple. I tread, you tread. What does it even mean to write a poem? It means today I'm correcting my mistakes. It means I don't want to be lonely.
Copyright © 2010 by Jennifer Chang. Used with permission of the author.
Jennifer Chang is the author of Some Say the Lark (Alice James Books, 2017). She lives in Washington, D.C.
Date Published: 2010-01-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/again-solstice