The bottom line is that you should be afraid of poetry,
coming as it does when you least expect it
and asking so much, as if it knows you well enough to do that.

Regret pulls on you for starting,
and for ending too soon, for hollowing you out
and leaving empty shells everywhere.

You should never write poetry, even worse.
There is no sense in it.
All it does is leave you wondering what you said —

Is what I just said really words and sentences,
have I lapsed into paragraphs,
or maybe I have invented a new language

(like the woman with long gray hair in my mother’s room
who spoke in chants from some ancient forest — in truth —
and frightened my children, them hovering close to me

and even to my mother, who could not speak at all,
only blinked, and me promising myself to never make them
visit again, and that was the last they saw of her)?

What is the point of all that —
danger, defying death, hanging yourself in effigy —
what not even you can understand?