it occurred to me
that poetry is a gate;
and you might say
that’s a given,
considering we live in
a world, fenced and
narrow, harrowing
in its complexity,
seeking simplicity,
some gentle touch.

but what if instead
it led, not out of
the world to some
secret garden, but into
the pit of vipers, where
snipers and grifters
drift between violence
and silence, and
dare not to dream
that simple dream.

This poem originally appeared in the 2009 collection Sixty-Six.