Saturday, June 1, 2019

AFTER DOUBT

     [A hatching chick] can't afford doubt. Who can? 
     Doubt uses albumen 
     at twice the rate of work.
     -Kay Ryan, "Doubt"

I doubt very much
that brawny doubt
would choose to consume

so many calories
from water and crude lean protein.
At least

for me,
worry and concern
tend to feed on the juicier stuff;

they go straight for the crystalline
confidence of minerals
warmly suspended

in the reassuring bulk
of fatty acid molecules—not those
jittery bean-pole aminos.

When I overthink, it's the yolk
of me that shrinks and pales in color
from its former hale yellow.

At length, though
the poet is correct: all this quibbling
only gets harder

and harder to abide—
while all the while, suspiciously
easier to admit.

In fact, by now simply observing
my own hesitation
is such a catabolic process

that, in order to conserve lean body mass
I must try my best
not to look inside like this.

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