It’s okay to feel small right before sleep.
Every dream has potential
to shatter the day to follow.
A plane crash on which you’re the standby
omitted from all records. Prepare to feel
smaller on your way down.
It’s okay to find soul and sorrow outdated
instead coal and marrow an accomplice.
It’s okay to idle inside that torn muscle
you’ve come to known as thorn
when you waited on benches
for whole tree growing ceremonies
while nobody yielded to the leaves
while someone strode from light to gone.
It’s okay to sit in a pub full of clamor
and not hear the person right or left
to your memory of vertigo, memory
is a form of vertigo, more surrender
less giddiness. It’s okay to despise words
that resonate like cartoon characters.
It’s okay to roam a grocery store and leave
only with that apple you could not have spotted
was hollow. It’s okay to look at hollow
solely as a noun and crawl inside its nest.
It’s okay to be quiet. The stars are too.
Okay to lie down with the lights still on.
A curtain moves like a show of hands,
the hardware on the closet wipes
a smirk off the fern’s spiny shadows.
It’s okay to be tired. You are carbon
and nitrogen too. A few billion years
are your currency. The raw materials
market has crashed. It’s okay to close
your eyes with everything aglow.
The stars too do not bother to watch.
Monika Zobel is the author of An Instrument for Leaving, selected by Dorothea Lasky for the 2013 Slope Editions Book Prize and Das Innenfutter der Wörter (edition keiper, Graz, Austria, 2015). Her writing has appeared in Nimrod International Journal, Poetry Northwest, RHINO Poetry, Four Way Review, Redivider, DIAGRAM, Beloit Poetry Journal, Drunken Boat, Guernica Magazine, Best New Poets 2010, as well as German and Austrian publications. A Fulbright and Djerassi Resident Artists Program alumna, she lives in Bremen, Germany.