What a stroke of luck when your best friend dies of cancer
six days after your lover is struck by a bus,
to describe anguish in poignant prose.
And the smell of your flesh burning under molten slag,
or suffering a sliver of rusted steel slicing your cornea,
is red meat to starving metaphor.
Unload a boxcar baking in the searing summer sun, then
jackhammer 100 feet of concrete on a 100-degree day
to percolate powerful hyperbole.
It would help to be thrown face-first into a cell
where you sleep in a puddle of vomit
to describe humility with credibility.
You should run ten miles with the homeless,
then drop your last dollar in a vagrant’s dirty paper cup
before drafting even one line about empathy.
Finally, trek from the summit of Mount Blanc
to the cobbled streets of Trastevere
to craft poetic verse manifesting magnificence.
But not until you see the crown of an infant
emerge from the womb, or the foal from the mare,
will the writing process begin.