I lie on my back in the lawnchair to study
the trees claw up toward heaven.
They have all the sap I lack.

It’s doubt I send rivering cloudways
in great boiling torrents, as if all creation
were a bad stage set I could wave

                                                            way away,
then I could cast my dark spells in a blink
and a flaming fingersnap—and
a universe de Mare pops up

so I win the everlasting argument against all
that was or will or tiredly is.
As if my soul would not in that blink

be obliterate. As if, as kids say.

Mary Karr’s most recent books of poetry and memoir are Sinners Welcome and Lit, respectively. She is the Peck Professor of Literature at Syracuse University.

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Published in the May 2, 2014 issue: View Contents
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