It ends and starts with intention, for all beginnings are ends.

Invaluable, it doesn’t count for much, I know, but I try. Hard.

There are ways to repeat this, a chorus of crows, a fluttering of sound.

I might get used to it, after some time, but I’ll often be on edge, pinfooted.

It would look like spying, but see here, what I’ve quietly done.

Love and love and more love: evergreen,

Warm, belly-full; cool, satiated, a wilding of grin, romp and ballad.

If all my fears went driving, all stirrings travelled on,

I’d still be here, finishing things; planted and pruning.

There is no gateway; no golden harp.

I am in need, I am in want, I am in hope.

It isn’t a secret, a sheltered hideaway or a silent hurt.

I am admiring the view now, seeing all that it is full and plenty,

And wanting it for myself, closing the distance of one jealousy to another.

Forever; wild and steaming, rioting and skimming the sky with resilience

I am mostly staring at stars, backlit by moonlight.

Most nights, I wonder, half-handedly curious, yet struck with ebbing

Let me, help me to see the worth, the riches, the flourish under the hibernating.

I am so afraid of being troubled and alone at the end of this world,

At the start of whatever is next.

Leah Umansky

Leah Umansky is the author of The Barbarous Century, out now from London’s Eyewear Publishing, Domestic Uncertainties, and two chapbooks, the dystopian-themed Straight Away the Emptied World and the Mad Men-inspired Don Dreams and I Dream. She earned her MFA at Sarah Lawrence College and is the curator and host of The COUPLET Reading Series in New York City. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in such places as POETRY, Bennington Review, Salamander, Pleiades, and Plume. Some of her Game of Thrones-inspired poems have been translated into Norwegian and Bengali. More at