Reincarnation

Sometimes I ache in a way
that makes me think I should be a
volcano erupting, a force that surges
splitting earth and spitting fire,
so deliberate in my destruction
that a second is preserved
under ash for an eternity;

that’s why I want to erupt,
I think, because I want to stop.
I want to live the Bermuda triangle
of existences: unexplainable
and tempestuous, but always in
control, able to halt time and
swallow whole existences.

I don’t want my youth to be
wasted away now; I want
to consider an ancient yew
young and laugh at changed
constellations each time I
venture to the surface. I
have always felt the pull

of the earth in my bones,
of times long ago lived.
I fear it is too much to ask
that I go forth with knowledge
when I begin anew, for
the water in my well is
plenty deep enough to
drown in.

Progression

My hope lies beneath my breast
in a hollow dark and deep
cavern made of cherry wood.

I shelter it with intertwined hands
from brushing winds and
splashing waves so

you cannot see it burning there,
nor hear it speak and shout
its dreams,

but when it’s formed an outer layer
of time that’s long gone by,
the heat may become too much to bear
and it will be seen by all who pass by.

Covenance

God said to Adam:
“You may partake in all
I have made, so long as
you remain obedient”,

so goodness first required
willful ignorance.
But for all that women
are well practiced mutes,

we have never been
afraid of information;
it is the only weapon
that requires no strength

physically, leaves no trace
beyond tongues, and remains
useful without any polish.
Eve knew this without

Knowing, just as she could
not know that she should
feel shame for coveting
that which is forbidden.

Thus the greatest paradox
of her sex was born before
Eve had cause to act:

a woman is to be shamed
for wanting
before she has the opportunity
to decide what it is she wants.

Salem, 1692

Goddesses whisper in the woods
and claim to know what I have known
of the midnight constellations
sunken beneath moss-soaked wood.
Father does not hear them speak,

nor feel the Solstice burning weak;
Mother cannot see the figures dance as
strands blur and glide over bleached
cotton and dewy skin, un-trapped
from tightly-wound knots and coils.

My sister cannot hear the Maiden
sounds of feet and water clapping,
nor will she ever feel the icy smooth
surface of an incandescent pebble

beneath her earth-crusted heels. Even
my brother does not feel the spirits
shriek and laugh deep within his
bones, as they proclaim she was
drowned by covetous nymphs.

The preacher vows that he will find
what we’ve done and where we hide;
that he will hear, see, and feel. But
they whisper in twilight jade to me
alone, as I march– smiling– home.

The Modern Dream

your multicolored celebration
saturating the blackened sky
smells an awful lot like
gunpowder and as I notice
the air is popping with
laughter and I wonder
if we are as delighted by
the actual sun as we are by
the red orange spark blend or
if we are as concerned by the
event as the smell and I want
to ask why disaster stories are
now considered trite or looked
over or overdone like grandmas
pecan pie the older she gets the
more burned are the edges and
we are somehow not bothered by
that because grandmas pies are
the american dream and the
american dream has no time
for unconquered tragedy.

The Library of Alexandria

Some sorrows breathe heavily
through bone, blood, and bellies
of time, across countless souls,
from innumerable furrowed lips;
 
they leave a sacred remnant,
a visceral fear that echoes from
the terrified ache in our teeth to
the fitful churn in our stomachs.

We cannot possibly remember
the sickly vibrant hues of worn
sand, sinking leaves, and mottled
feathers that rivaled the stars

in light, nor have heard the guttural
cries–the weeping, catching breaths–
of parchment as it shriveled, lungs made
decrepit, or papyrus as it weltered.

Yet something inexplicable in us
raged when we first found the tale
of mislaid wisdom; lamented through
a weighted chest and the inkling

–the barest remembrance–that
the knowledge was not new.