I want some storm before the calm,
dancing, wind-battered on top of an avalanche,
embraced by thunder
every time lightening unzips the darkness.
My house was my body
and it was filled with children.
Now the rooms are washed shapeless
by rain and failure.
As ashes fall and water rises,
all of the dolls are broken or lost,
all of the babies are small and smaller bones.
Shame is never a single voice,
but a shrouded chorus of small, pale faces,
whispering to me from inside a smeared mirror:
“What you called healing, called mother-wisdom
was dancing with your own reflection.
What you called love, was pride.”
Time is not smooth and even everywhere;
there are places where it thickens and slows.
I will lie down there, in that tale,
in that forest,
as tiny cold hands bloom
from the pestilent soil around me.
I will endure the agony
of their terrible forgiveness.
Even when they are pressed into my mouth,
I will not swallow the healing leaves of death
or protect my face with earth
when stars pick at my eyes
with their accusing bone fingers
from a billion miles away.