If

IF

The mind wants
everything that isn’t.

Its running list
of alternatives is

constant and vivid:
I would have been

a choreographer in
a bigger city if

I’d had more talent
as a dancer

or a farmer
if I’d loved

the land better.
If I hadn’t watched

the video of
polar icecaps melting

I’d be happier
about the pink

blossoms swelling daily
so early in the

season, fleshy teacups
on bare branches

I glimpse from
the car window.

My choosing of
the classic rock

satellite radio station
is a gesture

of escapism and my
braking to a stop

beside the tree
is a gesture of

reverence. It won’t
last, it won’t last

is a chant like
the Hare Krishnas’ chants

in the mall that
my grandmother warned me

not to listen to.
If we had done

this or that
we might say

in a hundred years
we could have

stopped this. What
that this will

turn out to be
we don’t know

yet. If and
yet are pixels

my mind zooms
in on or

shapes like snowflakes
that land on

my mind. My mind
wants so much:

to rest, to chant,
transcend, blossom, to

binge watch Netflix.
It wants to

say the words
that will save

the world and
knows it can’t.

It watches the
bees, mad and

hungry, nestle in
new blossoms. It wants

to not know
that seven types

of bees are
now endangered species.

It doesn’t mean
to but it feels

the wish appear:
if I never had

a daughter I
wouldn’t have to wonder

what kind of oceans
she will drown in.

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