What One Gives Up

My heart has grown docile, less inclined
to thrash about and strain at the leash.
Maybe that’s the way it goes: we come
into the world like lava, we burn and blaze
and flow, then cool into something solid—
an identity? No, I don’t believe that,
my friend. Too many adults tried to sell me
a story about who I would become, and how.
But life is hard, a shadow passing through
the briefest light, a pulsing in the body
we’d have to destroy to touch. To grow
into myself, I’ve had to refuse to exchange
purpose for joy—what kind of goal is felicity
amidst such suffering? And yet, here you are,
my love: a presence, a mind, a body I hold
close and still without need to sacrifice a thing.

Andy Posner
Andy Posner grew up in Los Angeles and earned an MA in Environmental Studies at Brown. While there, he founded Capital Good Fund, a nonprofit that provides financial services to low-income families. He has had his poetry published in several journals, including Burningword Literary Journal (which nominated his poem 'The Machinery of the State' for the Pushcart Poetry Prize), Poets Reading the News, Open Arts Forum, Mobius, and The Esthetic Apostle.
Cover Image:Troydon Dcruz