Doing the Dirty Work

147 words published on March 21st

It’s best to write poetry the same way you handled coloring books in your grandmother’s basement.

On the floor. On your stomach.

One elbow supporting your body like a steel beam holding a bridge. Your other hand—your other arm—doing the dirty work.

Heavy at first, only outlines. You’re darkening the edges. You’re exploring the map. You’re learning what’s there.

Then light as a feather, filling in the gaps with as much air as you can muscle. You stretch the color. You pull at it.

Until your bridge support goes numb and there are carpet marks on your forearms and there are puppets on TV and places to ride and people to woo.

Do you see? You were a poet all along. You just needed a little more color under your nails, a little more cramping in those shoulders. You just needed to find the edges.