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The Heart’s Light

Some seasonal order
has taken over, like a tempest there
to hold me, too. Thin at first,
the wind gradually folding over
and over, and thunder, and rain,
a wrapper of unambiguous
dark, not akin
to sadness.

The dream of wilderness finds in it
domesticity, at times
on the road, passing rows of corn,
passing lush, sticky forest, cruising
down the coastal palms and the sea,
the road has an end, not always
the planned end, not always
the unplanned one. I began with

absence, though I’m silent
about it. I think of you often,
though less as the present
days keep on, and I wonder
what is true, and I wonder about
time. There is talk
about how we could live

in the present. Sleeping naked
like angels would, our interiors
emerging, our bodies floating up
like white smoke into an ever-distant sky
because the act was pure.

We know this is right
because of the lightness,
and the sense that grief would follow
could not impact its weight.
Love, love, love,
say it as if it will carry on in us
just the way it is now, ask if
its dissipation
is any different from
unearthing the heart’s light,
floating up, up, up.

Sun, Apr 28, 2019 | Model info | Footnotes

This poem, “The Heart’s Light,”  is from my most recent print publication, a poetry coloring book called Seasons of Yourself. If you have been here awhile, you have probably heard me talk about the book a lot in the recent months. So, let me tell you something new about it. This poem, its original draft, was first written in 2013, a year that changed the course of my life as I knew it. In January 2013, I moved to Zihuatanejo, a fishing & surf town on the southwest coast of Mexico. I moved there from a relatively stable life in Portland, Oregon, to finish my first book of poetry in a place where there isn’t much to do except just be. I made that decision because, despite how “put together” my life had become, something was missing and I didn’t feel whole. I was working as a server at an upscale restaurant, making more money than I knew what to do with. I was dating someone who treated my like a goddess, who taught me how to fully love myself, appreciate myself for who I was. He had two young children, and for a minute there, I thought I might marry him. But then this opportunity to disappear from my life for six months came up, and I took it without blinking an eye. And within a month of moving to Zihuatanejo, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to go back to the old life I had. I had already changed, already realized that the domestic life wasn’t for me, at least not yet, and I couldn’t allow myself to be tied down. This poem is about that transition in me, and even more, about how each piece of my life & each relationship shapes me in ways that I am grateful for. I realized the appreciation I have, so much, for the people and the purpose they’ve had in my life. Uff, I could tell you so much more about this phase of my life, about the details that were excruciating and liberating at the same time. The tears I had to cry, and how strange it was that I had to be the one to make the decisions that were making me cry, because in the long run, I knew that was my path. 

Get a copy of Seasons of Yourself

Thank you x mil to an amazing photographer named Arzu for capturing this.

And to the mega-talented Renata for her expertise in body painting.