Be or not be, be here or there,
Believe, be loved, belong, become–
But I am none of these things.
Sheltered under her precipice,
I fear ground might slip from under me.
Tar tarnishes her smock, she creeps
Out of cracks in sidewalks, checking up on us,
Noting how far from her we move away.
She forms stones that soften into sand,
Measuring time with each expanse of her mouth,
An eon when she yawns. How can it be so?
I walked by the piers, singing the grief of trees–
I am none of these things.
I saw myself in shards of her looking glass,
Scaled her knees, curled in her lap, still a child.
She says hush, hush, the roar of her tears cascading
Waterfalls crashing in her eyes, hollows of cliffs– comfort me.
We are broken in places where wounds recede
Back from rims of caves, her eyebrows. We stumble
On the peaks of eggshells and crack
Under the weight of wounds that do not heal.
She erupts in the north, for it takes time to hatch,
Longer than we give it time.
And so we wither like a thousand winters,
Our names waving in the air like flags–
Human beings, we denote ourselves everywhere
To conquer who we are.
On the ground where I am weeping,
She wipes my eyes when I turn away, and tells me
About the day I was born. My eyes open
And the green clears, and no longer numb, I feel her
Pain. One door locks when another opens.
I choose like that butterfly chose that flower,
And she is out there, an acorn away.
I gather her eyelashes in my arms like baby’s breath,
I say, someday we will remember the songs we sang
As fireflies, there is only so much light to shine,
But I live like a flame, waxing and waning,
Shifting in and out of the particularities of things.
And how does change come?
Through turning here– or there?
In a shell, the propper names?
But, I am none of these things.
And so she says. I hear her whisper
A distant melody, an echoing that lingers within silences.