I prefer keeping a needle & thread on hand just in case 

by Rick Benjamin

a button loses its hold
on the other side of a

hole, a pair of pants
needs a patch at knee-

point, dish-rags ask
to be made into small

drapes, discernable
fraying begins at the

napes of necks on
favorite shirts, or

flirting turns to
hurting in no time

& the heart needs
a stitch or two

just to keep its
off-beat twitch

from turning
into nervous

tics. The rest
I can’t speak of

but it is also, of
course, nearer &

on hand when-
ever it’s needed.

Rick Benjamin lives on Chumash land in Goleta, California, and walks each day on indigenous trails. He teaches courses at the University of California Santa Barbara, among them poetry and community, the wild literature of ecology, and literatures of both social and juvenile justice, while also working among elders, young people at a local Boys and Girls Club, in art museums and youth detention facilities. Among his works are the books of poetry, Passing Love, Floating World, Endless Distances, and Some Bodies in the Grief Bed. He served as the poet laureate of Rhode Island from 2012 to 2016.