What’s Holding You Back

by Andrew Cox

Fear. And the way Spring insists green is the royal color
The way the word vaccine puts a saddle on a horse 
To ride through the countryside shouting the virus is coming
And how one by land and two by sea are a math of arrival
How arrival enters through the mouth and is swallowed
To dissolve as if it were the pill that supplies answers
To questions we did not ask but used to hallucinate 
Family history and its ride on a boat that went down at sea
The way the word symptom made us lose our voices
The way the word mask taught us to focus on eyes
The way the word normal taught us the lesson of regret
Fear. And the way Spring insists it’s flexing its muscles again


Andrew Cox is the author of The Equation That Explains Everything, (BlazeVOX [Books] 2010), the chapbooks This False Compare (2River View, 2020) and Fortune Cookies (2River View, 2009) and the hypertext chapbook, Company X (Word Virtual, 2000). He edits UCity Review.