A Year

It’s like breathing underwater and thinking that you will one day come up for air, but knowing that you never really will. It’s adjusting, always changing, learning to swim now that there is no earth beneath you. It’s waking up in the night forgetting that he died and then remembering in the morning what you…

31. Becoming

I am a new creation always, regenerating like the Time-Weaver himself, but only because of Him, never without. I am more than this jumble of atoms scattered from the universe. I am a quiet constellation, perhaps a dying star, perhaps just newly born, perhaps a fire that always is and never was. I am still…

30. Smile

Surrender to me tickle and beam Toothless or full of white gleam No wrinkle is too small for me Give glint, give a wide-gaping seam Loose bark and titter and boom No timid or half-hearted croon Rambunctious howl in full bloom And a grin that can brighten the room I can see all your future…

29. Amaranthine

My lady, with eyes of amaranthine, Is just as fair as she is mean, And twice as fair with touch of spring. . Her loveliness is not serene; It does not simper, coo, or preen, But barks and roars ’til it is seen. . Her tongue is sharp as steel and steam, With no thought…

28. Turn

I have chased a silhouette in my dreams, The meeting, embrace, communion, kiss, And alacrity designates me Pursuer, Though I run as if in water. Some murmur of bones and muscle shifts in my periphery And I am tilted sidelong toward a shoulder, collarbone, grasp upon a side body, A puzzle piece I know fits…

27. Fortress

There is no shelter that lives and breathes, Save whom I can call Father. No name else can cover and protect, Can shiver feathers over like a shield, Can comfort with a good word. There is no other fortress that makes active its duty, That does not need defending, That can hold its own without…

26. Dissonance

So often in music, I crave the tension of notes too close together, The lingering discomfort, The hanging resolution, The inhale without exhale, And I think the root is here: There is not enough space between spirit and flesh. These chafe against each other always, The enormity of soul encased in cling-film skin. Without that…

25. Cathedral

The church stood in a copse of trees Twelve men and women in a circle Voices imperfect Singing doxology Singing joy Singing redemption No walls or pews The hymnals carried in memory The redwoods leafed overhead to shelter from the elements Their points steepling to the heavens The river, the wind, the birds sang with…

24. Blink

As Lazarus Koppek shut his eyes, the world disappeared, and so did he. This is how it had always been. He had taught himself from an early age not to blink. His mother was frantic at his first disappearance—he had been only one year old, down for a nap, and when she went to check…

23. Kingdom

Nobody asked if he wanted the kingdom. Nobody questioned the crown on his head. As it lowered onto his tawny mane, he flinched as one does away from the axe. “Long live the king!” was a curse on his shoulders; it menaced like the hiss of a snake preparing to strike. And now there was…

22. Spell

a shiver of fox bones and feathers sage bundled in twine salt and water comfrey and nettle four white stones for protection turn a circle light a match inhale raise palms to a sparkling sky speak a prayer to the moon whispers and echoes a spark in the dark surge of flame in tongue of air fingertips…

21. Ash

I have had words spark on my tongue, Had fires stoke between my teeth, But like a dragon with its mouth tied shut, I have been made to sit with hot coals to scar the roof of my mouth. How often have I bitten them back? Felt the spit and crack of a shifting thought…