You will be walking some afternoon,
too late to change the news of another
small defeat, and the sun will bear down
on the letter in your hand, the one
that spills out ‘No’ in a waterfall of words
you have learned to bathe in like the emperor
who swam in the river every day of the year,
and you will believe a thousand eyes are watching,
and you will want to apologize.
You did not misread the instructions.
You did not misinterpret holy writ.
Say to them, ‘I am not turning back.’
Say, ‘I know where I am going.’
Speak to the sky: ‘I am not afraid of the light.’