Various and Sundry Poetry

the glance backward

isn't it remarkable, how one decides, finally,
to do away with the old habits and eccentricities,
to chase away the squirrely demons of indecision and avoidance,
to be better, and wiser, and more generous of a person?
isn't it amazing, how on the cusp of this great leap
of loving someone more fully than you thought possible,
because it's time and because you are ready,
and because you are more than the sum of your fears,
et cetera, et cetera,
isn't it strange how just then
the neck swivels wildly to the left,
and the eyes arrow downward, near the shoulder,
then careen to the side and back,
and the ears cock to the wind, listening
listening
as if feral animals were chasing close behind,
as if danger were looming and near-vertical,
as if there were, finally, no stage curtain to dip behind,
some soft velvety thing to fold you in like a caress,
as if you were stripped of skin and down to the barest
of your bare bones,
isn't it funny, the glance backward,
the making sure, the strange, prickly desire
to rewind, start over, and be lost again?

It's as if we know full well
what exactly we're leaving behind
and what we're incapable of escaping -
the ecstatic, liquid momentum
of this body and these legs,
this unstoppable heart.