There is a feeling just before you read
the next book that will fill a blank
in your thoughts, or form the formless,
wherever it is in you: a sense that
your ignorance knows it is mortal. It
pins your mind to the moment, says,
“I am the patient before the doctor’s
news. I am the will before it is forced
to choose. You will not ever be
as you are again.” Take your time. It’s fine.
Books are patient with those about to lose.
From Arroyos: Sijo and Other Poems, Edinburgh: Mariscat, 2015.
Timothy E.G. Bartel is Asistant Professor of Literature at Houston Baptist University. His poems have recently appeared in Christianity and Literature, Saint Katherine Review, Relief, and The Other Journal. His most recent collection of poems, Arroyos: Sijo and Other Poems, is to be published this Spring by Mariscat Press.