How to Be Uncertain

by Peter Leight

When I’m uncertain I cover my eyes

and think about all the things I don’t see

almost always,

or hardly ever,

as if it’s a recipe or a systems problem,

if you don’t finish the water in your glass is it just about half empty?

One thing I’ve done recently is to turn one way then the other like a bendable toy that bends and
bends back,

I often pick things up by mistake that don’t belong to me,

why do you keep making mistakes?

Not staying in my room,

or any room—

something I’ve done recently is to pack a suitcase with some clothes and soap and scissors

to clean and cut,

cut and clean,

together with a portable shovel:

when you dig something up other things come with it, like the kind of beauty you can’t
appreciate for itself alone.

When there’s an argument I take both sides,

giving myself every opportunity,

as if I’m trying different recipes,

I often raise my arms and move them around as if I’m waving,

it doesn’t mean anything.

In case I need to go somewhere I’m not even aware of at the moment

on short notice,

I’m eating on paper plates with plastic utensils and paper napkins that pull apart in my hands like milkweed pods,

I’m not sure if it’s necessary,

or even sufficient—

it’s the kind of flexibility that doesn’t really mean anything, like the difference between a stone
and a pit.

Kneeling without touching the ground,

has this ever happened to you?

Do you feel better now?

Better about yourself?

One thing I have done recently is to put down what I’m holding onto in order to pick up
something else,

then I put it down,

I’m still thinking about it,

I mean whether something is of interest or is uninteresting often depends on what you think.

I think I’m crossing out some things I haven’t even written—

it’s definitely an adjustment,

of course it’s disappointing when you say to yourself I don’t know what you mean.

— from Juniper Volume 2, Issue 1