Oct 18
Quella's picture


It had never been so clear as it was
this morning as I sat with my mother in the kitchen—
the sun glinting through the window,
lighting the soft gray clouds,
kissing the last remaining bits of orange
hanging sleepily from the trees outside—
that holiness
is not something you find
under the roof of a church.
Nor does it linger just
atop any mountain that asks
for days to summit.

It is much more commonplace than that.

It reflects off the soup pot
soaking in the kitchen sink,
it sings from the radio speaker,
from the pages of a book,
from your own voice
if softly, you hum along,
the notes in your chest becoming a small sort
of communion.
Oct 15
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The Wind Said

There is nothing to do, the wind said
As I held a feather to my heart,
Its hollow owl flight tucked beside that tiny bone-
the arch I see on my chest when I breathe

It is the same arch beneath which I have walked, I think,
when the orange ground stained my shoes,
somewhere to the west
where I inhaled dry heat
and dust played in the sunbeams.

I have learned that our bodies
are maps of the world.
We are same giants we dreamt of as children,
The giant we are both killing and trying to save.

And yet still the wind said there is nothing.
Nothing to do
despite all of this life—this overwhelming life—
that we are, that we eat, that we must maintain
lest it die.
It is supposed to die.
But also to live.

And so perhaps
we have overlooked what the owl
and the deer
and the turtle
and the wind
still know.
Sep 03
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The Sweetness We Forget

Perhaps death smells like autumn leaves,
maple hands gently fallen,
bodies curled in sweet blood hues
Laid at the feet of their mothers.

What a wonder it is that we try so hard to pretend we will never fall from our trees.
It seems such a tragedy to leave this world bare,
To be swallowed by snow.
We forget it seems,
That there is a sweetness in
The bloom that comes later
And a sweetness too in the falling,
In returning to the earth
In red.
Aug 27
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What Beats

But I am not that—
The waves I see.
The stinging hunger pains
For sweet sad eyes
For fledgling bones,
For your story that could be told with water.
Show me the life in your laughter
The rumbling thunder that you called for.
That is me.
That is the way I am moving.
That is what beats these wings.
Aug 27
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The Giant

A year ago I felt my soul
and tightened my hands around it
I sunk like a stone into the water I’d grown
And felt my cage rest on the floor.

There’s a goldfinch I think
And copper red ink
That swirls in your body with breathing
And when you lay down
And let yourself drown
You find that it’s all that you are.

Stones let me move you so I can be seen
Though the layers of time that you sleep in
Let me open my lungs to the thundering ones
To the giant whose bones I sleep on.

I don’t know how to write I don’t know how to name
I’m only the stars and their shine
And I know that we move that our bodies are gold
But sometimes I turn off my mind.

How do I grow farther from you dear earth?
You’re starting to feel far away
But I can not bleed now to feed you, my love
Wait until this life has melted away.
Aug 27
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The Ache

There is an aching that holds me
when I think about my fledgling self.
my self
with wings furled, shoulders seeping upwards
stomach empty and quiet
legs tired and trudging
voice full of the kind of optimism that is both empty and too full.
There is an aching that held me then too, though,
And so I have come to suppose
that to ache
is to be human
And so if I am to be human,
It will be as empty as it is full
As hard as it is soft
As painful as it is blissful.
And so I will sit and ache
and wait for the next
and the next and the
Aug 27
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Hello, dear river
The waves in the din
How do you climb the stairs?

When I was young
You tickled my tongue
And I walked home filled with your rain.

Hold the wolves in your rippled hands
Teach all the tadpoles to swim
Empty the earth of its hollowness
Put your breath back in my hands.

If my father could hear your voice
He wouldn’t need to weep.
We’d walk through the forest and fall to our knees
And meet you in soft shallow sleep.

How does the time pass, my little one?
How does the cold water feel?
If everything turns, then we’re turning too
But while we turn we can lay here.
Jun 21
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I, Here

I am here in this world and laughter sounds like a bird cry.
I am traversing the stones
my younger soles once lay bare,
slowly, deeply inhaling the pine bows
I curled upon as a child, the pine
I once asked to hold my sleeping frame.
It is here, I think,
that I can see the sky most clearly. 
Each sunset and foggy rise lifts from within me peels of laughter
or the soft barefoot lilt
that expresses something much the same. 

I do not know how the life within me flutters, 
but I would think it to be much like the birds do.
Like the sea does.
Like the sun's redness bleeds into the sky,
so too do I bleed.
Like the seasons 
run into each other seamlessly,
so too do I run through this life,
this day, 
this hour,
holding and held,
and the pine and the sleeping child,
and the awakened and the asleep,
and the joyous laughter
that tells me I am 
these things,
Feb 16
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You do not have to be grown,
body aged and limbs long but furled to the world
Your eyes do not have to see in any colors
dimmer than the brightest sunset
And your body does not have to slow 
down to mimic the other grown lives
that teem around yours.
You do not have to kiss the sweet child inside you
goodnight as you tuck her beneath your wing
If you listen, she will tell you that those wings
were hers once
and still are, 
and after all, 
she knows how best to fly them. 
Dec 16
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I have been called a rainstorm.
I fall and make noise 
and want to touch
the whole entire world.
I want to feel every inch of life
that crowds inside this atmosphere 
hunched or spread out
winged or asleep.
I want to open rivers in the earth
and flood cities so that streetlights 
know what it’s like to glow underwater,
to flicker.
I want to seep
into everything I see 
and when I try,
when I do this,
when I feel such depth,
I am overcome with the kind of
despair and wonder 
that only the loudest storms can harbor.