We are the Legacy of a Goddess

The flame took our shape
as the earth licked
our bare feet and the ground
sweat secrets only we
were given the key to;

the cipher required
a bulbous shape
and curves that men
feared, conquered
by only a fellow form
that could beget life.

We were given a spell
song, a secret to
braid through generations,
a sacred guarantee:
our reach will be infinite.

Brother

(On the eve of your 21st birthday)

Once I spoke for you
because words felt too heavy
where they sat on your tongue.
You experienced the world
at its rawest, in a way that few
will ever painfully endure,

but somehow along the way
you grew callouses and healed
over the bits of yourself that others
found frightening. Now, you
laugh with all the comfort
of a reformed patient

and you don’t need my shields
anymore. I am happy for that,
for I will have new children
to protect one day–those that
come from us and others–but
along with each confident smile,

I still feel the strangest urge–
the barest inkling–to speak,
as something long forgotten
comes to linger. It rides in on
wind, in the silence between
your brave new laughter:

oh how the memories whisper.

To the Mothers

Dear baby, it hurts when you nudge my ribs
and the imprint of your toes press fireworks
between the bars– a stamp to the sacred
scrapbook that is my heart. But it hurts
in the way that running pleasantly
aches; burning lungs and thighs barely
noticeable, eclipsed by the ecstasy
that is coming out on top scarcely;
hurts the way fire burns, with the ability
to scorch you, but also to shine in inspiring
ways, and to rid the earth of dismally
old foliage– useless brown adorning–
to revel in bareness, reveal the globe
slowly regrowing forest; it hurts like hope.

Grow Softly

to the class of 2017

Growing up feels like
the moment before
pulsing liquid fire
meets the gushing wet
of the growling sea
with the same drawn-out
wail as a banshee.

It makes a scattered sort of
sense that youth burns
as brightly as newborn lava
–is felt with the same burn
as moments-old magma.
But true clarity emerges
with all the brutal honesty

of extreme temperatures
melding to create something
new: as we grow we harden.
In resolve, in mind, and (most of all)
in whether we choose to remain kind.

Inked

I want to remember
golden bridges untouched by war,
& wear nothing gold can stay
as near to my heart as it can lay;

I want my foot to know that
I am walking my words,
& my hands to feel they
are typing something true;

mostly, I want to feel
the clawed in proof
–vibrant against my
speckled peach–

so that I can never forget
what it feels like in this
moment, this breath, to be me:
eager, curious, adventurous

me. But I have changed since
last year, & the year before,
& some things that used to feel
permanent just aren’t anymore.

Conjuring

Take a walk with me
through places long hidden;
through eras, amours,
and saturated visions:

seafoam mist and golden foliage,
sun prisms and moonspots over
pale green dew-soaked meadows
that darken to emerald shadows.

Follow me to crashing foam and
azure pathways through swirling seas,
along amethyst tipped mountains
that brush the frothing skies;

beside crystal-kissed stars
dazzling in sleeping sunlight;
over gold-scattered sands
bursting nearly russet-red.

Imagine the sharpness,
the starkness, and consider
with me–softly, slowly–
the magic of a pen.

From Earth

roots curl lazily
in place of finely-spun
golden hair, buds spring
from age-lined hands

among each spider-webbed
earthy curtain; here lays each
of our bespeckled and lined
forms well hidden.

our bodies have forgotten
how to breathe without air
and drink without fresh water,
but we’re just enough connected

to question how we got here.
do not forget your divine rights:
your bark-ridden thighs and
the sun shining behind your eyes.

the ground seems very separate now
–fixation sprung away eons past–
but whisper deep within your bones
and you’ll remember what is home.

Departing

They marched out of Narnia
on talking chestnut mares,
peacefully they surrendered
their many gathered years:

they cast away victories
like over-worn pelts
and stepped back into
childhood with little regret.

The older I get–wiser too–
the more I wonder
what I would do

if someone placed the same
warmly lit post along my path,
would I welcome it fondly?
Would I wish to forget?