When I think about whether I should continue to write poems, when I could be helping people build huts in poor countries, or writing to my congress person about the need for a universal basic income, free food for all families, and respectable, poverty income level housing, and the bullish part of me that wants to snuff out those less necessary and less helpful parts it thinks nothing personal about, but just can’t afford to be lenient with, when basic needs and their affordability are on the line that begins with the divining-rod-like politician, I try to remember I write them because I believe without them, I lose perspective and the power to wield it expressively, which is to say I stop reflecting and erode at the embankments of empathy holding me together and keeping me from breaking mentally and emotionally, like overflowing muddy water from a lake during a storm that’s rewriting the definition of collateral damage through the mouth of a millionaire news anchor on the television, so that it laps in waves conveniently against your unemployed neighbor’s door, the neighbor with those so-called morals. Anyway. Without poems, my consciousness cannot find itself to save its own life, cannot remain awake enough to keep its heart open, and must sleep the long sleep of unconsciousness in order to merely come back occasionally, be present enough, not to live, but survive. So why do I write poems? I guess I write them to feel wakeful. That seems as important to me as trying to eat a can of optimism that’s always just out of reach as it rolls downhill toward the bottom of my patience. Poems like this one are one kindness I hover above my unnatural disaster of a life in order to rescue myself.