The Cup – by Deborah Allbritain

What you have now is more alto than soprano, fanning a sage stick

through every room and doorway getting
no answers but trying
to love what’s best for you. Autumn sun bent down

the long spine of a greyhound, black coffee, grape vines
propped against the broken fence.

Here’s the problem.

When I practice being still, listen for the clock to chime
or watch the wind shift north through the giant ficus,
the walls shrink and the roof splits open.

There is something like a hurricane in my bones
that won’t let me settle by the tiny fire I’ve arranged.
Look closely at this life I’ve made.

Fit the bruised-moon heart of it into its tin cup.

Deborah Allbritain was the 2017 recipient of the Patricia Dobler Poetry Award. Deborah’s poems have appeared in the Greensboro Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, the Madison Review and numerous other journals and anthologies. Deborah lives in San Diego, California.

Art: let the moment trickle like sand, digital illustration layered over abstract painting, 2019
Artist Statement: “Like a hurricane in my bones” — I often feel this when I, like the speaker of the poem, “practice being still.” That exact conundrum was what I aimed to capture by layering this illustration over the chaos of an abstract painting.