Paul Hostovsky is the author of four books of poetry, most recently Hurt Into Beauty (FutureCycle Press, 2012). His poems have won a Pushcart Prize and two Best of the Net Awards. He has been featured on Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, The Writer’s Almanac, and is a 2013 Featured Poet on the Georgia Poetry Circuit. To read more of his work, visit him at www.paulhostovsky.com.
When I finally figured it out—
you know, life, the whole thing—
I couldn’t write it down fast enough,
and I was shaking my head in disbelief,
and smiling at the sheer dumb luck
of each new line revealing itself to me
like a winning scratch ticket, hitting it
big. I mean really big. The kind of big
that comes over you slowly but all at once,
like what it will mean for the rest of your life,
how you won’t have to work at it anymore
because everything will be different now
and the same. It was a little scary actually,
and my stomach started to hurt. But the pain
was different now. It was part of the joy.
And the joy was different too because it was
unbelievable. I mean I knew it was true—
I just didn’t believe it. And that hurt, too.
Then the old hurt gave way to the new
and suddenly everything rhymed a little.