Something We Protect Keeps Us Balanced like Good Boats on the Sea
-with a golden shovel line by Dobby Gibson
Safety came to feel ornamental, like a beautiful tree you are allergic to. We don’t have to talk about belonging, but have
you too seen stars round as money and wanted to make chariot wheels of half the sky? Why not be
able to admit one’s bright canopy of want, or at least be willing? Most people harbor a far-off vision of their full-fledged self. I wanted to
read your cards sans book, but I can never keep all the male authority figures straight. Start signaling that as a flaw in the system, not in the self. Start with a symbolic act re-authorizing that younger you who curated a secret that functioned like a keel. Then when you don’t know a good ritual, guess.
-- Paula Cisewski's fourth poetry collection, Quitter, won the Diode Editions Book Prize. She is also the author of The Threatened Everything, Ghost Fargo (Nightboat Poetry Prize winner, selected by Franz Wright), Upon Arrival, and several chapbooks, including the lyric prose Misplaced Sinister. She lives in Minneapolis, where she teaches writing privately and academically and collaborates with fellow artists and activists.