2 poems by Ricky Ray


How to Go On


Sometimes, when defeat

sits in your chest

sinking you past concern,


you have to lie down in a field,

look up at the sky,

and ask the blades of grass, the little Earthlings


who have been there all night,

who have lived there all their lives,

who are the field you are becoming,


to slip their slender green

fingers into your mind,

and show you:


To go on? It’s easy:

you open your mouth,

you take in little sips of light.



Low


Unable to do much of anything,

I ask for help and it doesn’t come.


It comes but I’m too blinded

by self-pity to recognize it:


the will to breathe: a breath the wind

blows into my lungs to keep me going.


It wasn’t that I was dying—

I was—but that the day seemed


hardly worth responding to, a lover

I couldn’t muster the will to meet in bed.


I knew this a deficiency in me,

but that only turned the static up.


________


Ricky Ray is a disabled poet, critic, essayist and the founding editor of Rascal. His books include Fealty (Diode Editions, 2019), Quiet, Grit, Glory (Broken Sleep Books, 2020), and The Sound of the Earth Singing to Herself (Fly on the Wall Press, 2020). Visit rickyray.co and rascaljournal.com for more.