A Real Question with No Real Answers

by Kurt Luchs

What is hope?
A moss that grows
silent and unseen
on any surface,
a light that becomes visible
only after your eyes
have adjusted to the darkness,
a note that hangs in the air
after the bird has flown,
a green shoot erupting
from a dead stump.

Sworn enemy of reason,
dubious friend of life,
estranged cousin of death,
confounder of statistics,
historians and tax collectors.

When you talk to yourself
she’s listening,
without a word
but holding your hand
and gazing over your shoulder
at a future
that might still be.

She sees what has not
quite come to pass
and perhaps never will,
the path un-walked,
and yet—this is confusing—
she remains blind and deaf
to whatever would be
unhelpful to perceive,
her every affirmation
contains a denial.

She scratches the face
of disaster and carries
a mustard seed
under one fingernail.


Kurt Luchs (kurtluchs.com) won the 2022 Pushcart Prize, as well as the 2019 Atlanta Review International Poetry Contest. He has written humor for The New Yorker, The Onion, and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. His humor collection, It’s Funny Until Someone Loses an Eye (Then It’s Really Funny), and his full-length poetry collection, Falling in the Direction of Up, are both published by Sagging Meniscus Press.

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