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after Mary Oliver

look around, you are surrounded by life. no less

than two dozen living things are learning to flourish

through your touch. there is beauty in that. there is

also great sorrow. the two are not at odds. they are

grasping hands, balancing each other. though it may feel

as though you are pulled at both ends, you can find stillness

if you focus. sit with your feet touching the ground. the earth.

or stand. there are no rules. breathe in. remind yourself

that out of all the requirements needed for life,

you have found yourself in the one place that meets each.

remember, you are surrounded by life. do not turn away

from your grief, your regret, your many deep angers.

do not allow yourself to steep in them, either.

pull the dead leaves from your plants. change the water

growing filmy with sediment, allow your propagations

to breathe. do not forget to sprinkle cinnamon

after each watering to keep the gnats from returning.

know that these lives are dependent on your own.

know that yours is dependent on theirs as well. breathe.

balance. accept both what you have and what you don’t.

BEE LB is an array of letters, bound to impulse. they have called any number of places home; currently, a single yellow wall in Michigan. they have been published in Revolute Lit, After the Pause, and Roanoke Review, among others. they are the 2022 winner of FOLIO’s Editor’s Prize for Poetry as well as the Bea Gonzalez Prize for Poetry. they are a poetry reader for Capsule Stories. You can find them on Instagram @twinbrights, and you can view their portfolio at

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