Simple Is / by Rachel Dean


Falling asleep with your fists open is this year's first subtle accomplishment.
Bargaining with your burdenssleep sticky in your eyes until noon.
It is not fulfilling to be the girl with four walls and a steady backpedal.
Like the sky, you are a function of extremes. Colors
from light to dark in an expanse of cyclical time. You
drink out of everyone's cup, burning your throat in the swallow.
What an act it is. What trouble: Believing that you aren't doomed.
Washing your hair feels like a good gift. You look up the word "simple"
in the dictionary and try to commit its synonyms to memory.
Straightforward. Easy. Painless.
And your favorite: uninvolved.
So you stop to iron out the wrinkles in your consciousness
a bit of bent elbow and teeth-gritting, strength in the hands. But the wrinkles
more like hills and valleys. More like a game you always lose.
Everyone else might blame it on a lack of luck or a generational curse.
God's temper. A ghost's joke.
You think it's just the matter of things. The pull and tug.
The great hum, from somewhere in between the stained horizons. Ceaseless
and uninvolved in its hand-outs and its take-aways.
A reduction of self is required. A peace offering with the body.
Slip out of your ego and into sacrifice. Into simple.
But simple is the cheap display in the spotty window.
An illusion of humble grandeur. A cop-out.
Simple is a cough-syrup swallow. A first-round knockout.
You're in it for the fight. The whole length.
You're in it till your teeth are hanging and your tongue tastes blood.
You're in till you don't remember that you ever didn't want to be in it.
Simple is a stone's throw away from coward.
And bravethat sticks in your hair. Sits in your shoes.
Brave is a mouthful of the bitterest kind.
And you have always loved the taste of your own resilience.




Rachel Dean likes cats, coffee, and carbs. She also really likes alliteration.