The Gospel of the Fat Cactus

“Poetry is as visual as are painting 
and the cinema.” – Charles Simic

If you are lucky, you will
find yourself reading poems
by Jim Harrison or Ted Kooser
instead of watching television.
In them, you will see fat cacti
retaining visions on the landscape
of time, and, if you are wise, you
will embrace one, plucked through
like Frida Kahlo’s deer, wounded but
stepping back before stepping back in
– a dog-legged dance of stabbed
precision – you’ll need to decide
each time whether to jab the damn
spines in the same holes or cut
new ones. Then you realize, because
you are lucky and wise and time is
who knows, that, wait, this is how
you should handle people.

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