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Editors' Pick

Approaching Zeal: A Run-On Abecedarian

Alacrity—not my middle name—
boldly lays siege, item by item, to a miasmic to-do
catalog approaching zeal. That’s someone else’s
doppelgänger, not mine. I’m more
easy-going (except when I’m not), a laissez-
faire drop-by-whenever,
give-what-you-can kind of gal, list-less.
However you slice it, whatever its name,
I gave up on musts and have-to’s
just after my brother jumped from a bridge,
knocking us from fixed
latitudes and longitudes like so
many pick up sticks or dominoes, cascading
nihilistically toward a place
our eyes are still adjusting to three years later.
Perhaps it’s relevant that my middle name,
quixotically, is Joy—claimed, lost, now
reclaimed anew, a virtue
so mismatched to my guilt
that I gathered it, stick by fucking plastic colored stick,
until it resembled a structure,
vulnerable but still standing—a cairn
wobbling ever so slightly at the
x-roads of a trailhead, aching to dance.
You can choose this route or that, bla-
zing in possibility, open to the winds,
 amid parting seas and timbrels or
 battle your brother at the Jabbok
 circa: the rest of your God-given
 days. I choose both shores.


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