you pull a book off the shelves
to help you with the waiting.
Anthologies allow you
to open the book somewhere
in the middle and glimpse
an entire universe of sensation
without starting from the beginning
or missing out on the ending
because you don’t have time
to complete anything right now.
You have plans,
and just need to kill five minutes
so your heart won’t implode
and burst into a pink super nova.
And all you can do while you’re waiting
is fail to be surprised that the poem
burning you was written by Anne Sexton,
her familiar name below the last lines
like a flame you suddenly need to feed.
And when you learn that she died
the year after you were born,
you’re dazed, and it feels
like you’ve been cheated,
like you’re the first to bear the news.
Maybe you’ll even cancel
all your plans.