By Patrick Erickson   A DUAL PERSPECTIVE

Does the edge of glory
really work?Are you skittish?Are you skirting
the edgewalking the walk
toeing the line?Does it glow
like the glowwormlike its double
its wormhole
its twinlike those lighting strips
that direct you
down the aisle
to your seatin a dark theater
full of dark matter
full of suspense
and no repose?Are you sitting down
for thisor teetering on the brink
and over the edge
and down the wormholecoming out
God knows wherethe edge of glory
or the razor’s edge?If I could support
light wavesif I could refract light
like thatif I could be
on their wavelength
on the button
on the beamI could put them on
I could wear them
as a gown
multi-facetedif I could arc
like thatif I could refract light
like a prismI could go the distance
I could be the go-betweenWe could all be
as oneand go for broke.   Black-eyed SusanA sometimes upright annual
with alternating basal leaves
and stout branching stems
covered by course hairhence brown BettyIt has daisy-like flowers
with yellow ray-florets
compassing brown or black
dome-shaped disc-floretsthus yellow ox-eye daisyThe genus name Rudbeckia
honors Olaus Rudbecka botany professor
at the University of Uppsalaand one of Linnaeus’s teachersLook for the flowerheads
in late summer and early autumnLook for them in Maryland
where they are designated the state flowerLook for a blanket of them
in the winner’s circle
around the winner’s neck
at the Preakness StakesThe roots of the black-eyed Susan
are an astringenta wash for sores
a poultice for snake bitesan infusion for colds
and worms in childrena diuretic
and eardrops for earachesButterflies are drawn to them
in large color-masses.    LIKE JOHN CAGEI could say
“Take my heart”But what of my heart strings?
Snap!What of my rib cage?I could say
“You can strum my ribs
if you can play me
like a fiddle”like John Cageno strings attachedLike John Cage
I could whisper
sweet nothingsBut then the silence
would be deafening.    TWO STICKS IN THE MUDCan two sticks in the mudshould you have two sticks
to rub togethercompete with green reeds
much less communewhen the cattails
along the river bank
ever fluent
speak in tongues?

Can a tongue-tied couple
so entwined
enmeshwhen one is root bound
and the other rootlesswhen mud meets mud
root upon rootthe Sea of Reeds
one daythe River Styx the next?   About the Author:authorPatrick Theron Erickson, a resident of Garland, Texas, a Tree City, just south of Duck Creek, is a retired parish pastor put out to pasture himself. His work has appeared in Grey Sparrow Journal, Cobalt Review, and Burningword Literary Journal, among other publications, and more recently in Adelaide Literary Magazine, The Main Street Rag, Tipton Poetry Journal, Right Hand Pointing, and Danse Macabre.