by John Estes
When staring down barrels
the crucial thing’s refusing to favor one over another.
Not assuming to judge which way
to dodge. The apex of stereo
vision, call it democracy in action.
Without certain limits, a body
is bound by its own expectation.
But within what is given, practice
takes hold and presses upon what needs to emerge—
little arm uncrooks from seed in warm
wet earth—most tender opiate not
refusing, a promise some yoga
and therapies make but only on the far side of tedious effort.
Call it concentration,
a jumper’s simple-mind just before the jump.
Once the decision is no longer it—
and by it I mean the vanishing point toward which translations aim—
you’re past drawing beads on clay.
The slant by which you lived has passed
beyond what any coefficient of reasonable force can counter.
Need is no longer so, well, necessary.
Eyes turn in, and by fiat bid all things shoot.
This originally appeared in Dogwood 2005