Wednesday Sep 20

Sarah-Grieve Sarah Grieve is currently an MFA student at Florida State University. She played Division 1 basketball at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo during college. Her poems have appeared or will appear in New Madrid, New Ohio Review, Salamander, and The Sow's Ear Poetry Review. She hopes to move west when her time in Tallahassee is over.
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Ode to Chance
 
 
Because I followed the directions on Ramen noodle
packaging, obeyed backgammon rules
and street signs, I’m afraid I’ve missed those moments
when we might have stood face to face
with a new direction scrawled across your brow
            in tickertape. But now I’m asking, won’t you
please thwart my plans, tousle and harangue
            until they no longer lie flat, collars pressed?
 
Only the quick and the lucky find their way down
            the stone-slick passages to your door, their clothes
carved by brambles, skin briar pricked in random scratches
            though in them I read the phases of the moon—
gibbous, waning—crowding you out. Is it the moon, its pull,
the way it funnels the chosen your way like steers
in the chute? Or do you wait on a street corner until someone
knocks the change in your cup, asks for the time
in pantomime before they step onto the wrong bus, miss
            the transfer but still manage to reunite with Sue
from that art history class in college whose brother Bill
happens to run a jewelry store in town and is recently
single? Yes, you choose who you’ll lead astray and once
you’ve made your choice, I imagine you lay them
down among the lost meter money, hairpins, socks
you’ve collected against disaster and whisper
destiny in their ears, but all I hear is VisitMacy’s on Tuesday,
Change your toothbrush,Pick upChinese on the way home.
 
I need you to be good to me, sweet chance,
            for I can’t always hear you beckon. Wrap my plans
around your torso, let them ripple in your wake
            until my hold is whittled and all that remains
is the sugar residue of rock candy left out in the rain.
            I listen for you in the burner’s hiss and the stroke
of sparrow wings, but you still escape me. Say
            my name aloud, say it often so I’ll hear you.