One week     Out of nothing & nowhere

Up rose the word softness      for everything

Paige let’s not sit in the back room, the front one is softer

like pears, but the avoidance of peril

Air soft

Ice           blood soft

This word tying a bow

When I sit in front of everyone, it feels softer than being between them

 

It’s my mysterious      not a cut      not a wound

Getting worse           no spider in sight

 

A was always saying in the next lifetime

And I always say      I’m not coming back here

The soft placement of the useful      to a useful silhouette

I’ll be fine as the wind or a piece of grass

R says I would like to be a pine cone

Resting on grass           easy start of a forest

H was asking me how it felt to ring the gong

Hold space      be silent

In this particular way          I said a few words and he wondered

Is there another one           I said softness

He said that is the literal meaning in my language for metta or kindness

 

How far to send a hammer behind the eyes

When you can send           a softness

Let slip what isn’t an actor

Never one to press the head too hard to the fever—

 

 

 

Cynthia Arrieu-King
teaches creative writing at Stockton University and is a former Kundiman fellow. Her published poetry books include People are Tiny in Paintings of China (Octopus 2010) and Manifest, selected by Harryette Mullen for the Gatewood Prize (Switchback Books 2013). In 2016, a book of collaborative poems written with the late Hillary Gravendyk, Unlikely Conditions, will be published by 1913 Press.
Filed under: Poetry

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