The two inches that separate bird shit from
Landing on your shoulder and splattering on the sidewalk.
Deciphering my handwriting.
Having a poem published.
Life. A full stomach. Decent parents.
Avoiding nuclear war.
A reliable WiFi connection.
Unlimited 4G service.
Unlimited text messages.
Having someone to text an unlimited number of times.
A puppy’s slobbery kiss. The warmth of a cat sitting on your lap.
A baby sleeping on your shoulder.
Intimacy. Sex with someone who actually matters
Outside the bedroom–or kitchen, or shower, or bathroom stall, etc.
A fully stocked library.
A fully stocked bar.
Having electricity and running water.
Having drinking water. The microwave.
Coffee–anytime, any day.
A hand-sewn quilt during a blizzard.
Realizing that out of hundreds of thousands of sperm,
The one needed to create you fertilized an egg,
And your mother carried you long enough for you to be born,
Reasonably healthy, into a reasonably sane world.
Even with the above taken into account, understanding
Your life is but a microscopic microbe–no, you’re smaller
Than an electron–compared to the majesty of THE UNIVERSE.
Being at peace with this, because you are you and it took
A small miracle for you to be born, and it took another miracle
For you to experience this poem at precisely this moment.
A. J. Hayes
Give a poet a pen