Know that if you ever think of yourself as Frank O’Hara addressing the Harbormaster,
doubting your abilities because you’re not where you want to be,
I will build and deploy a thousand submarines,
some made of twine,
some made of rowboats simply holding their breath,
because, trust me, you will not sink, because
you are a goddamn tiger of hope,
or … I’ll buy you a tiger of hope. I don’t know.
Do they still sell tigers of hope at the supermarket?
Because even if I made you smile at the thought of
me carrying a manically grinning beast up and
over the shoulder like a sack of potatoes,
its paw swatting passing cereal boxes down into the aisle,
you have not sunk. Even that, the smallest of victories,
is, like you, worth something,
a break-the-bank worth something,
Lord Byron trading the edge of a cliff
for a river which breathes fish,
breathes hues, breathes ripples and birds,
where the water itself can rise,
a cobra from the basket, turn
to you and say,
“What would you like me to do?”
You are not small.