There is happiness and sadness all around us,
that is the magic of the universe.
Our moods are as fickle as the wind
and absorbent like clouds,
where our emotions throw us
into sunny tumults and skies of starlight.
Inspiration can come from
anywhere if you let it,
if you’re willing to find
the innerness of you
and choose stimulation over hurt
from the reminders of ruined things.
A nostalgic cartoon. A car horn.
A slow song. A made-up memory.
A sad hello. A green smile.
An open heart. A broken heart.
The heaviness behind my eyes
gathers at the corners if I let it,
but today it stays where it is.
I am as small as a caterpillar
inching along a green stalk
with all dozens of grips
around the silky bridge.
I could bathe in a thimble
and find fullness from spilled crumbs.
No bigger than your thumb
or the buttons on your sweater
when I shrink like this.
It happens too often for my taste,
but down here next to the puddles of dew
there are pussy willows like skyscrapers
and dandelions like forgotten gods.
A butterfly flaps politely overhead.
Being small has nothing to do with my size,
as I sigh. It’s my best kept secret,
tucked under the mushrooms.
I examine my fingernails too little to be seen
and bury them in the ground beneath me.
The dirt smells newer when I’m this close to it,
like I can absorb its nutrients through my palms,
discover the earth’s age just from tiny handfuls.
The heaviness ebbs the filthier I get.
A slug oozing past lures a laugh out of me
that rings through hollow felled trees.
It’s rained recently,
everything is soft and squishing
between my fingers and toes,
wet with friendly remorse, welcoming me
if I choose to stay small forever.
This time, I just might.
the absence of things
Darkness and cold are not actually things,
but the absence of things. Darkness is the absence of light;
cold, of heat. (Scientists, I may have embellished.
Poets, humor the science.)
If something is dark, it is the amount of light
that is missing from a space. One says, “turn on
the light,” not “turn down the dark.” Darkness has
no measurement or unit on this planet.
Coldness is the heat being extracted from
another source. When you are cold, you are losing
your heat rather than gaining coldness.
Temperatures reflect heat and lack thereof.
So when you feel like darkness is too much or you
feel too cold, remind yourself that what you should say,
instead, is that you need more light and more warmth.
In fact, most times a single object produces these two things.
The scientist may be thinking of the sun.
The poet may be thinking of a person.
A poetic scientist, or a scientific poet,
knows they are the same.
A.H. Lewis is a 26-year-old poet from Pittsburgh, PA, with an English degree from Allegheny College and a Disney addiction cultivated since birth. Her first collection of poetry, The Smallness of Everything Else, is forthcoming from Dorrance Publishing in spring 2019, along with other pieces published in various publications and social media accounts. For Lewis, there is no weather too warm, no blanket too soft, and no bowl of gnocchi too big. You can follow her on twitter: @ahlewww and IG: @ahlewww