Priorities for the Tempest (to my friend)
by Abigail Knutson
First find his face
then attend to all the rest.
After looking in the eyes of he who knew you
back at molecule one, still knows you best,
turn back to the storm.
Wrestle the ropes, brave the rain,
but only after slipping one shoulder down,
let the burden roll, chuck him your pain.
He can carry it and still hold
the two trillion galaxies we know about.
Don’t try to assemble a picture of his face
from the chaos and the wreckage of the squall.
He said there would be trouble, and we’re still drinking
the gall that he refused, but his wine’s coming.
Our great globe shall dissolve
when he tips his hand.
Drink deep despite the bitterness and hold out
for the wedding feast of the lamb.
Our revels then won’t end.
Hell’s not empty
but there are plenty of devils here.
Don’t let the slippery sibilants wind
your cochlea, precious snail
round which a snake would love to coil.
Keep it free to receive
Forgive comfort like cold porridge
He’s coming back for you. Stay bright,
stay steadfast, my friend.
We are such stuff as eternity is made of.