ALL SYSTEMS GO
Trudy said my tarot urged towards a courage
I would always lack. Near twenty years later,
what can I say? That truth dissolves in the cracks?
Or that Cat, as she was known back then, read
from a stack bent on divination? Lately, the past
flashes like a strobe light upon my vision. I’ll be
doing nothing. The dishes. Then, the interruption.
Revelation. Above me, satellite’s orbit and rove.
Ursa Minor triangulates and somewhere near Grand
Canyon, a wolf pup is born after years of dwindling
populations. Question: does doubt make traitors of us
all? Sometimes I feel each cell of my body atomize
in the evening air, and I am so undone it is as if
the maker unfinished me. All my language here
to salve the wounds. I never healed from a broken
shoulder. Fifth grade and bike riding into my own
immortal delusions. In Japan, they call it wabi-sabi,
the imperfections. Leonard Cohen said there’s a crack
in everything, and that is how the light gets in.
Problem with aphorisms is everyone’s caught one,
and most make the social rounds misattributed.
That’s what’s up with wisdom. It circles the drain,
and the groundswell drinks from an untapped thirst.
The words echo in my throat like transcendence.
They peel from the loam, seep into the earth’s gaps.
Every day, whatever it takes to make us whole.
All systems go. Maps. The tracings. I never lived
on a cul-de-sac. Never will. My shame is the trailer
I’ve parked myself in. Address: same. Name:
whatever is lodged in the back of my father’s throat.
Originally from Pennsylvania, ALICIA HOFFMAN now lives, writes, and teaches in Rochester, New York. Author of two collections, her poems can be found in a variety of journals, including The Penn Review, Radar Poetry, A-Minor Magazine, Glass: A Poetry Journal, Softblow, and elsewhere. You can visit her here: aliciamariehoffman.com.