James R. Whitley

           In a package of minutes there is this We.
               How beautiful.
                       —Gwendolyn Brooks

In a package of minutes
there is this We,
there is this constant gnawing,
from within my skull and rib cage,
to admit that You were here,
that I invited You in.
In an otherwise dark corridor,
there was that bright apparition
We naively named “Our Future”
hovering before Us,
and that unfinished pine box in the corner
that could have been a coffin or
a trunk for storing sweaters.
the slipknot that is the heart
doggedly thumps out its mantra:
release, release

as if to communicate that salvation
might be nothing more than a yank
of a looped string,
a mere tug on a yet-to-be-discovered lever.
How disturbing.
How ingenious.
How beautiful.