The Inevitable Place

by Mookie Katigbak

The Japanese knew well to see life from one
remove, to intend spring by writing of snow,
or plums in the orchard after a frost.

Like so, I’ve learned to tell rain by dragonflies
in the field, to memorize August
by the garden’s wild hibiscus, all suspense
suspended by the bedrock certainty of what’s next.

At the end of a season, my heart grinds
the difficult into what can be made plain
–first the mind, then the pain–
I crank up the levers, the pulleys, the weights,

And then with what speed do I strip away
snow, unlearn seasons, flowers’ names–
the sum of all my losses

vanishing as I run toward the inevitable place:
body prior to pain and the weight of the mind,

where I am younger than the world. I become the wild.

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