Relative to Everything

by Mercedes Lawry


What’s a dark morning

in your scheme of things,

a bowl of sour plums,

a faint psalm-memory, a forgotten

pair of shoes shoved under the bed?

What’s the swipe of silk around your neck,

a salt grain, a five-course meal,

or the waddle of pimped art?


The hungry are still outside, calling.

The heroes are scratching names on rock,

burying fast and fevered.

The dogs are wherever they want,

coddled or cursed.

The winners need not worry.

The losers need not hope.

You think you can negotiate

with goodness, pockets overflowing.

But soft nights harbor thin blades

disguised as stars.

Sleep well, my deary dear,

until you won’t.