High Water Mark By Aaron Leininger

High Water Mark

there being no physical means
of escape or surrender

and I—the fool of my own principles

it finally came down to this:
write—or fucking die

but commentary is not enough—
so where is the life worth living?

I demand angels

in a cultivated land—
where nothing—holy or wild—
has ever taken root

how will I manage
the marriage of love and anger?

or recover

the means to touch and to affect
at its most crucial center—

its sexual core

(the heart anticipates its destiny)

to return and to remain—teetering
on the perilous crest

of the present

poised upon that precipitous instant—and

pinned to that intensity

like a star
burning through bluest daylight—

in spite of the world’s stupidity

what savage grace will allow this?

(the heart anticipates its catastrophic rise)
a wild and captured animal is
battering at my rib-cage—

the skewed axis
of this spinning critical disaster

it says, resist and rebel

it says, fuck you and I will

I am the ragged flag of no-surrender
ripped to shit by ignoble winds

pissed and proud and still resisting

By Aaron Leininger


Aaron Leininger is a poet whose work has appeared or is forthcoming in Gravel, Buck Off Magazine, the Oakland Arts Review, and the Adirondack Review. He lives in Redding, California.

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