I believe you, she says, because soon
it will be afternoon
and surely that’s as good a reason
as any, if you follow long enough
the line of reasoning, the way it snakes
through sunlit passages of the mind,
protected from a gusting amygdala wind;
if you follow logic’s wend
around tidy storefronts of last year’s collected certainties
(now mostly boarded up)
and over low bridges of crusted emotional residue ―
here, in the byways of the brain,
if it isn’t lost entirely
to disappear for several years,
belief picks up hitch-hikers and foxtails in the fur,
drops down an unexpected rock slide
and wavers on the edge of an old, gray quarry
dark water at its soul,
waiting to see
if it will fall

and if it turns out that a slight lean to the left
is the answer “no”
and leads to a narrow path against the quarry wall
and a sign lettered “Belief, 3.2 mi.”
well, then, she will say after a pause, I believe you ―
and soon it will be afternoon.