I can’t undo all I have done to myself,
what I have let an appetite for love do to me.
I have wanted all the world, its beauties
and its injuries; some days,
I think that is punishment enough.
Often, I received more than I’d asked,
which is how this works—you fish in open water
ready to be wounded on what you reel in.
Throwing it back was a nightmare.
Throwing it back and seeing my own face
as it disappeared into the dark water.
Catching my tongue suddenly on metal,
spitting the hook into my open palm.
Dear life: I feel that hook today most keenly.
Would you loosen the line—you’ll listen
if I ask you,
if you are the sort of life I think you are.
Maya C. Popa