deathbed prayers & wishbones
snapping at family dinners have
this in common: a concept
unreachable, grasped for.
to resuscitate a human, you must
first break their sternum. the
snap of bone, the under-skin
shatter, something broken
in saving. your fingers
slipping in grease, grasping
at a bone-white wish. imagine
a land farther south, where
the sun rises crooked like
ribs, a road less traveled
than the one your feet have
found. make a wish. feel
the break of bone in your hands.
fall to the depths,
find the places
no one has touched
for decades. unlock
the doors, breathe
light into the corners.
by sky blue. you,
carrying your own
fate in hands
that have not slept.
caught in some
bringing a piece
of a higher world
down to tartarus.
have found yourself
there’s a species of shark that can
survive for four hundred years. they
live in polar waters, slow-moving,
growing half an inch a year. i think
you could have been friends, if you
had stayed – with the same stubborn
approach to living, one step after
another, inexorable yet tectonically
slow. living where nothing has any
right to grow. i may have been
the ghost shivering over your shoulder,
may have been the quiet voice in
your ear, but it is only now that i
am alone again that i can admit to you,
you shark, you creature of the open
ocean, that i have always danced at
the edge of failure, fear a knife wound
in this steel body. that your coming
was no accident, that my downfall
is only the final ending of a slow
growth, half an inch at a time. you
built me back up with the same hands
that tore me down and left a taste
of moondust in my mouth.
so swim free, my shark, and never
come back. this fear has melted in
the face of your triumph.
this sunlight traveled four hundred
thousand miles through the sun and
eight light-minutes to earth just
to say hello to you. you brush
compliments off like dust from your
skin, but the sun knows how quiet
the spaces between your bones are,
how you breathe when no one watches.
let it in. greet it like an old friend. and
these photons that have traveled for
thousands of years from the nuclear
heart of a star just to bounce off
you will warm you the way they
promised they would. they have
come all this way because you,
you shaking, fragile thing, are
worth the journey. nothing
has ever been so luminous.
happy mother’s day ❤
mother tends her garden, presses
cool dirt to my roots, smooths
my wrinkled petals. all winter,
i have lain underground, breathing
soil through damp lungs, skin
gone pale & sun-forgotten. come
spring, she unearths me. the ease
of living again is always
surprising, the tentative stretch
of green leaves, saluting the light.
she brushes the darkness away,
fingers spread to welcome me home.