without it, there is no reason for me to look back on a week
parched of prayer and starved of scripture with a shrug
and motion to “all this activity, you see,”
that kept my heart occupied elsewhere.
without it, the stress doesn’t make much sense,
and i have to face the fact that it is within me,
an anxious sore that will not heal.
it keeps me from being other things–
like worried or lost or lonely
or weighted down with all the fallen.
now my heart-questions have a chance to sidle up to me,
with whiskers to stroke my leg and breath to suffocate.
somehow, this isn’t peace.
instead, it’s the quiet of a sticky night in a southern summer:
cicadas screaming, when blade and leaf are still.
teeth on edge and hair on end,
we wait for the storm stewing somewhere.