When I was first asked to create something that tackled the impossible question of how a poem comes into being, I was immediately struck by how difficult it would be to explain. I had just spent a year creating mandalas for myself during a painful time when my stepmom was dying of cancer. Poems weren’t coming; nothing was coming. There was a lot of silent waiting. The family by the fire, her breath up and down. Inspired by Carl Jung’s Red Book, which I had seen at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City, I began to draw (with very limited ability) mandalas as a way to meditate, to calm the mind, to process. Then, when my stepmom was occasionally well enough to see them, I’d show them to her and try to explain what each new segment meant to me. It was a very important, but small thing.