After Alvarez, ‘“Poetry Makes Nothing Happen”?’
Poems, perhaps, can be trusted
to save us from what happens
in this world,
Inspired reader reads, cries, sighs, decides.
So poetry turns a page to skip past a thought of suicide,
to keep a reader still long enough to catch a new color in a sunset.
Yet rarely does a verse sing only of joy,
more often of love
But what of the middle school girl
who wants to try on fake lashes,
and laugh at sleepovers with bags of Gummi snakes from the Warehouse,
ties silky scarves on her hairless head?
How does a person keep her not dead?
How many children must mothers love
and how many meters or syllables, how much time
will grant salvation via meter, voice, music, rhyme?
Can poets please “make nothing happen”?
When a mother asks whether she will be able
to sleep at night,
Alvarez assures her
this poem has “might.”
Might, coulda, maybe, shoulda,
while poetry survives and loved ones entomb tattoos.