the world is full of levers
waiting to be pulled,
things waiting to be moved.
the levers can be hard to find.
since they’re invisible, you have to
bump into one to know it’s there.
they are long arms, reaching out
like the low boughs of a wise old tree.
many are on the edge of steep hills.
to get there, you have to breathe hard.
you have to feel as if you might die.
you pass many wry flowers along the way.
they nod as you pass; they are going to seed.
they ask nothing of you but to look
and take note and see your future.
you take step after step up the incline;
you wish you were a fish, even going upstream.
you wish you had gills, a long muscle for a body.
you are losing air; you are wheezing.
you feel the butterfly in your throat swelling.
it is not easy dwelling on land.
you pass many remnants:
broken houses, rusted fences, crippled farm equipment.
a fish out of water, indeed.
dreams of mother, father, child, lover follow you up the hill.
they trail behind you like a long ribbon of frames.
all your arms together reach out for the lever—and pull.