Fraught with Danger

Let’s put it this way: it’s so unlikely that you ever were born.
All those stars in the sky and just one glove
to catch them. How thin the crust between foot
and fall, looming the boot that stubs out
civilization. I’m not scared, just wary,
and not of germs that lurk downtown
in old gum and expectoration
(hungry hands springing forth
as if sidewalks were Candyland
and you the Big Rock Candy Mountain)—
it’s the universe that is out to get us and, what’s worse,
the sky really is falling, falling apart,
matter and energy expanding to sameness.
No safety in numbers, heaven won’t hold us.
Though for now the horizon holds steady,
the tree breathes through its bark.

first published in New England Review

Copyright © Diane K. Martin

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