on hope

There are days–weeks, months, years, lifetimes–
when all of hope that you can stomach
is one spoonful at a time.

Any more of it and it hurts to swallow.

And sometimes it’s something
that someone else has to hold to your lips
and pour down your throat,
or you chase it with ginger ale so
you only taste its sweetness, not its sting.

Either way, it’s better than
trying not to feel the pain at all.