Bone and sleeve, blessed
a thousand times over –
first it enters through the back, a wave
of rare wind flooding the pores, then through the front,
a deeper rush that separates the skin
like rock into sand, making granules, softness
to cup loosely in hands.
You never viewed me dressed in my own hues. You tried
with your guilt and pity, clinging to the ruthless rules
of worldly absolutisms, rules void of miracles,
void of the greatness of God. It is not your fault.
You were born in a poverty den, surrounded
by uproar and mouths of many hungering siblings.
Violence and servitude, and so many trapped ghosts
filling the stairways, settling
in the corridors, peering through paintings. A home
where spirits latched on to doorknobs, the nails in floorboards,
bred like bugs under pillows, in closed-door closets.
I cannot blame you, later
you earned and kept your independence,
but still the one thing remained your master
like a severe hand coming down, dominating,
throwing cutlery across the room, thrashing
your childlike joy to pieces.
My lungs can’t function in that haunted landscape.
I am rising new born, rising with no sense of
separation. I move beyond my temporal bloodlines.
I will not own your wounds as truth. Even still, I love you.
I bless the bell. I bless how far we both have come – new homes,
clean of bad breath and the tormented
tightening-grip of others.
Miracles are fish that somehow know
their way through the oceans.
Miracles are stones, glorious as stars,
or a rat in winter guided
to a dumpster feast.
© 2018 by Allison Grayhurst
First published in “New Ink Review” April 2018
Published in “Synchronized Chaos” May 2018
You can listen to the poem by clicking below: