Sara Blake
The List
Poem

Butcher paper meant
for a different lamb
was her clean white slab.
Commandments all her own
to chisel in the blueprint
for the new architecture
of her hours.
Each line was too
perfect of a brick
to support the mortar
of the one after
or the one before.


She knew this, but
her pen did not,
so her hand kept
moving, nonetheless.
If you can draw out the shape
of the ghost that haunts your den,
are you less afraid?

If you name the peaks
and trails
outside your door,
does that make them
your backyard?
If you can count the times
you almost leapt
but didn’t,
will you know the number
that becomes too much?

When the ink ran out,
and what had felt
so formless  
now took up space,
she wondered what
all this industry,
all this fury had been for.

The list was long
and so well kempt,
in clean, squared
engineer handwriting
that was not her own.
Is it not true that when a storm
rolls over the canyon,
all that matters is
that it’s here?
Or if you strike a match
and let it really burn,
you’ll find what’s
truly yours
in the ashes?