/chase ferree

Try A Little

People won’t shut up about tenderness (myself
included). But anytime I find a way to try & be
in this world, I’m afraid of the complications.

The most attentive lover can make a mess
of another’s life. The gentle hands that grip
just above the newborn’s shoulders, splayed

fingers & careful palms–they too can hold
violence. & that tone of comfort spoken to ease
& relieve, the one that offers advice, its volume

never in overdrive–such a tone can poison.
No matter how soft, it can catalyze an unshareable
ache. Even blackberries must take a whole barrel

of crude to get to our mouths, must require delicacy
to be plucked from low bushes spread for acres across
an inland green. Some of them burst, no matter the care

involved. On the beach, the tide hurls wood long dead
& throws glass on the sand–a comment on the world
through juxtaposition. The pigeons sound like doves

because they are doves. The television sounds like war.
The blackberries, when they fall, leave stains–
their tender membranes unable to handle even the dirt.

Chase Ferree (he/him) is a teacher in Seattle. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Emerge Literary Journal, Peripheries Journal, Perhappened, High Shelf Press, and elsewhere. You can find him on Twitter @freechasetoday.