finding grace among the rubble

poetry

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SEA, EARTH, SKY

three tastes on my tongue, three words my father taught me to savor, three pressure points on my body pulsating with memories and lifelines.

            forehead: and my mouth opens
wide to a river of brine. i try to
            talk to the fish as they swim
underneath my feet but my
            voice only comes out a gurgle.
somehow this is fine as my
            attention is drawn to the sun
dancing on my toes and on
            the sand. summerhood has
only just started but already
            i am steadily growing tall
enough to reach the sun. 

            spine: and my arms are pulling
at the soft earth, digging holes to
            bury the secrets i have kept so
long on my shoulders. flowers
            now start to grow and they are
far more beautiful than my mother
            taught me how to love. this is
fine, i will just take pictures and
            tape them to my wall for when
winter comes and makes me forget
            that change is not always the
same as death, dying, decay. 

            knees: and my toes are holding
stars between them. they are
            warm, not too hot, just enough
to heat them as the snow is
            falling and the moon is pulling
the sun away. i count how many
            times i wished they were home
and realized they weren’t wishing
            that at all; rather the stars are
planting a new home in me,
            waiting to see if, their sister,
will join them there.

 

love at the edge of the world

you taste of figs and starlight, and the world is torn beneath our feet—can you feel it? the twist and turn of tides as it pulls our bodies closer, the waves are crashing in time with our heartbeats and this—this is what the gods are envious of. limbs, tangled, chaos in motion. I will forget my own name but never yours. not even when life and memory leave me, because your fingers have etched rivers in my soul and your eyes will haunt me like the dead wish they could haunt the living.

 

girl = sorrow

what if a girl was sorrow? 

what if a girl was wishing wells filled with dead dreams scattered on the cobblestones?

what if a girl was a single candle in an old house that has gone years without feeling sunshine?

what if a girl was ghosts that have forgotten the path home or the name etched on the doorway?

what if a girl was stepping stones left behind after leaving?

what if a girl was lips after a final kiss?

what if a girl was gravestones in neat rows that haven’t seen footsteps?

what if a girl was clockwork that would never tell the right time?

what if a girl was goodbyes?

what if a girl was backward glances?

what if a girl was a glass half full and could never hope to be full as long as she kept looking for brighter places?

what if a girl was sorrow and she never stopped looking for more to savor?

 

mountain climbs, i fall

smokey-eyed girl smiles at me from across the train and suddenly i am failing as the train is climbing the mountain and is the shortness of breath the elevation gain or the way you put me at ease with a glance, a child on your knee, freckles scattered across eyelids as you laugh and i want to drink the joy bubbling from your lips, i don’t know your name but i guess it’s jasmine tea fragrant in my hands in the cup i made for myself or perhaps its hope tangling itself in the dreams i know you will haunt, my stop is here but why do i want to ask you where you’re going so i can follow you like a moth to lamplight, a sailor to the stars across a pitch black ocean? if only i could bring myself to speak and stop falling down the mountain and into your arms.

 

if a woman dies and there is no one there to romanticize her pain, did her life mean anything at all?

i. We are falling women, down down down until up is down and right is wrong and who are we, really, in our own inertial frame moving?

ii. We are wailing women, our tears can give life to others while we ourselves are dying, they have commodified our pain, where we meant to suffer to save others or is it only for saving do we suffer?

iii. We are singing women, luring the unsuspecting to their death, but can we help it when others have been taught our bodies are like flagpoles to signal to others that we are open to conquering?

iv. We are dying women, sighing women, in the dark abyss, but when we can’t see we can’t feel if we are moving, falling, our tears are a mystery here, no songs fill the void, the nothing void turns us into its own brand of forgetfulness.