lessons

i have learned my lessons sweet and bitter

like this orange here in my hand

that will, with each segment

reawaken my mouth to this informed decision:

to hurt for the tenderness

elegy

this is an elegy to women in love

because i know the stories they have been told

and the poems written on their skin

and the wayward hearts of men

i know all of this and i am sorry for their wellspring of tears

the husks peeling from their hearts

for the quietly brutal ever after

when all the world

is purple and the magic settles into the branches and bones

when the rules change

when the beast is no longer amenable to his cage

that is my hour

my walkabout

my wellspring

year of the vanishing island

in that year of the vanishing island

she walked the full circumference each eighth hour of each day

by sun, and torch and moon

returning the shells she had collected

reciting the words of her lovers that had walked there with her

closing in on what could only be, within her heart, an ending

 

wellspring too

when all the world is purple

and the magic settles into the bones and branches

when the rules change

when the beast is no longer amenable to his cage

that is my hour

my walkabout

my wellspring

 

the wellspring:

not conscious of the gathering nor the reciprocity

the ebb nor the flow

just being

like liquid, like light

there at your core

housing the heart of the world

he said let me share my joy with you

and i didn’t know what to do with my hands

no pockets

nor easy responses

and a history of shed skins

leaving me vulnerable, burning and

reticent in the face of blessings, of beauty

and, yes, of joy

blessings

i am not lost

nor thin

nor easy

i will sometimes count the steps of this road

and sometimes not

forever attempting to keep my head up

noting the moment

the light

the air

the stretch and breath of me

concerning myself less and less with this road stretching out behind and ahead of me

more with these blessings underfoot

within

and all around me