Suzanne Im

“imperfect loneliness”

needles line this
maze
that has
a multitude
of dead ends

you stand
in the path of
the frontier

despite visual and aural
warnings,
the urge to
traverse across spindly
road
is difficult to
shake,
maybe because of the
flatland-wasteland
surrounds
start at
the center
and
branch out, but
be careful
where
you tread

turning back is
just as
painful as
moving forward

the thorns have thorns

the destinations
are
infinite

“experiential intersection”

a curmudgeon performs his litmus test
while the raven’s shutter flutters
mother’s milk flows from one body to the next
and i find that
the desert within you is the desert
within me

no man is an island
no woman to be an other
translate for me a discursive language
that reverberates in bone
as i see sister knit with brother

the deep empath shuddering
with shouldered weight elicits wonder,
structures the storm within
the calm of the desert
a man transplanted discovers
gravity in every being

even medicine women seek arid earth
for cover, as recovery
evokes invention
performance is real;
the muse tethers us with
clamant stories

poets and artists qua teachers gather
their collective insight
to share in kind utterance
consciousness grows wider

under the anesthetic sun
ache is dulled
dream sight clear

all exist on an equal plane
prejudices dissolved

*The phrase “under the anesthetic sun” was inspired by James Galvin’s,
“Entering the Desert.”