One thing that worries me is that I might not be present at the right place at the right moment. When I’m sleeping there‘s likely something happening that I should be present at, but when I’m awake it’s even worse. If it’s something I know about, but don’t go to it’s the worst. The only thing worse than the worst is something I know about, but don’t go to that I'm told later was something I would have liked to have been at. I have come across this fear in other people. These people are often the last ones to leave a party, though not always the first to arrive. The only thing that saves me from trying to be everywhere is my indolence. In general it’s very difficult to know if a decision is the right one. Almost immediately after a decision (for example, after placing an order at a restaurant) I feel a small squirt of anxiety and disappointment. What if this has been the wrong decision? And why must decisions preclude other decisions, closing possibility, restricting freedom, and pressing time forward?
When the tree died something had to take its place everything's not actually touching but connected and nothing is not nothing at all the oldest living things in the world make you feel young put a spring back in you wind you up climb you no make you feel like you'll die any second turned to oil not yet so lucky millions of years mean really nothing to you the idea is like a continent even your most beloved continent you don't know it at all someone taught you there were antartica there were europe there were asia and all those islands like greenland whose relative size was an illusion created by moving from three dimensions to two like your life blown all out all out of proportion in this denseness is mostly nothing 99.9% nothing or more than that never fear nothing here it's just lights on lights off just lights off lights on just lights on lights off lights on lights lights light
Elizabeth Clark Wessel's poems and translations have appeared or are forthcoming in DIAGRAM, A Public Space, Guernica, Sixth Finch, Lana Turner Journal, and The Laurel Review, among others. Her chapbook, Whither Weather, was chosen by Dana Levin for the Midwest Chapbook Series. She lives in Brooklyn and is an editor at Argos Books & Circumference, a journal of poetry in translation.