hellish frightened thing.
you hold those dark
one on top of another on top of another
until your whole life
erupts into one long
i think women want themselves. we want to be fully ourselves.
to get to know ourselves before the shame, before the charade, before the cruelty, the confusion about whether or not we are allowed to be here.
i gave everything i had to men. my worth, my dignity, my body, my tears, my beauty, my health, my heart, my joy, my loathing, my terror, my most precious gifts, my sanity, my hurt, my insecurity, my creativity, my time, my desire, my mess, all my resurrection, all my death.
just gave it all away constantly because women are taught to repent for sins they did not commit. to pay for a debt they can never repay.
and those men? and all the insides of me i laid on the altar in front of them. they tore it all apart because the men
are taught to destroy all of the things
they do not know
how to feel.
and it rained and it rained and it rained for hours on end and i could see the sky
from where i am
as it poured wet from
you keeper of the secrets
collector of tears no one could hear them cry
what is this you bestow upon us in these hours
when darkness covers the naked land
drifting inside of our hearts
washed and blown out
i am your little thing
wide as the cloud terrible and trembling as the silvercoin river snakes against the leaves
intimacy a hand in a hand that holds itself
that waits steady
all of the most beautiful
and terrible things
i have done
i have done
and the madman
is mad for love
and the ones you love
are mad for love
and the ones you hate
are mad for love
and the only thing
that keeps us one
is madness & we call
and the world begins
to destroy itself.
just like you do.
just like you burn the
bed you sleep in.
just like the bed
and the fire
and your hands
there is a spirit which moves within me.
dwells inside me, as me.
i may be standing in the center of a room,
crowded or alone,
and i am suddenly overcome
with the sensation of being spoken to
words without words
as they touch like the passing bend
of an invisible wing.
a movement of a love
so deep the veins respond
quietly, joyfully, reverently.
i can only imagine that god,
whatever she is,
this is the way
of her enchanting echo
ever ancient and eternal.
like pale summer evenings
extend their burning fingers
i want to be surrounded by
the poetry of strong beautiful women.
the ones who took the lifebeatings and buried them deep—
wept suns and moons and planets,
the river water of the ages, oceanic tides of grief
beneath their precious bruised
only to have them grow roots
and bloom again in the buzzing heat of morning.
the fragrance of tragedy
written into hope.
in the palm of my mind live
soft summer wings spread, billowing,
sigh beneath the curtains
as they clutch a pale
blue eyes reflect, a lake opens wide & falls
beaming, drawn toward the face of the sky.
a being at the window of an evening
i have yet to know.
it calls for me, my name cupped in the hands of the Word,
moves my body. some trace of what may come.
and i am shown
and i was the one:
closing heaven against your eyelids.
nesting dreams inside your bed sheets.
tasting solace in the mouth
of your sweet heartache.
Plato warned that poets are powerless to indite a verse or chant an oracle until they are put out of their senses so that their minds are no longer in them, and ever since no one feels entirely comfortable sharing a cab with one. In fact, a cabbie once pulled over and ordered me out when my travelling companion introduced me as a poet. Incredible? Mind you, my friend had just introduced himself as ‘a philosopher’. Normal people don’t want to hear that sort of thing. But I’m sure it wasn’t always as humiliating as it has been in these days of professionalism, promotion and ‘bringing the poetry to the people’, running after them imploring, Come back! It doesn’t have to rhyme!
— from The Shape of the Dance, Michael Donaghy
Sensitivity is the peculiar home I have grown my life inside. A message folded under the wing of each individual gesture, a whisper in the pale morning light sliding warm along my bare skin. Sensuality, the art of being unafraid of feeling. Pleasure. Pain. Everything. How else do people navigate their stars? I feel the things they do not see, do not believe. I look up at the sky through willowy sea-foam trees and breathe with the clouds as they overtake the vast tender blue. Perhaps I’ll go again, this time alone. Slip into new skin, blossom in the blood of a new creature. All things seem impossible until they’re done and you can do it, too, you know? You can renew yourself, start over, any time you choose. You can begin again as soon as you feel it is time. Don’t wait. Trust yourself. Move your body like soft sweet wind. Let go.
she opens my hands
as i collapse inside the winged
smooth sacred alone
in the darkness
bending as shadows
resting on the other side of the moon
in me, whisper the mouth of spring meadows.
i drink from her, taste like her,
my head into the softness
the veins and the rivers
humming softly toward
whatever is next, and i
offer up my secrets, breathe upon the petal
of her skin,
the glass and the scars
the shame and the pain and i
motion alive through tears