Start by pulling him out of the fire and
hoping that he will forget the smell.
He was supposed to be an angel but they took him
from that light and turned him into something hungry,
something that forgets what his hands are for when they
He will lose so much, and you will watch it all happen
because you had him first, and you would let the world
break its own neck if it means keeping him.
Start by wiping the blood off of his chin and
pretending to understand.
Repeat to yourself
“I won’t leave you, I won’t leave you”
until you fall asleep and dream of the place
where nothing is red.
When is a monster not a monster?
Oh, when you love it.
Oh, when you used to sing it to sleep.
Here are your upturned hands.
Give them to him and watch how he prays
like he is learning his first words.
Start by pulling him out of another fire,
and putting him back together with the pieces
you find on the floor.
There is so much to forgive, but you do not
know how to forget.
When is a monster not a monster?
Oh, when you are the reason it has become so mangled.
Here is your humble offering,
obliterated and broken in the mouth
of this abandoned church.
He has come back to stop the world
from turning itself inside out, and you love him, you do,
so you won’t let him.
Tell him that you will never know any better.
Pretend to understand why that isn’t good enough.
Start Here by Caitlyn Siehl
There is a time and place in the world for abstraction. When my mother left Puerto Rico for the first time, the year was 1968. Against my unknowing. We hesitate to say what intimacy is and whether or not we have it. I keep trying / to teach my students that / stream-of-consciousness is / this, not that / this / activity fails. We know it does because each of us leaves the room / feeling like barbed wire— snarling behind the barricade (because) at some point, we stopped feeling (like language could say). So we went without while some others embraced. Notice (after the emptiness) : a pain that is not private. In other words, focus not on the object, but rather, the light that bounces off of that object. Perforated. Estranged. Esa luz. Tómatela. Under that light° I felt my body try / to hold on (to the knot inside) your right hand; when did it become a fist? Remind me what it is again / what it is that you wish / to share (with others) >> when you’re on stage…
°That light, this pain (what never translates).
A Pain That is not Private by Lara Mimosa Montes
After this and that
Before the next and hereafter
I fell in love with the shadow of a beautiful soul
within a busted bone frame
made of finest porcelain without
but sheltered from within by the twisted logic
of angry words held hostage
from learned bigotry and class structures
from the beginning of our need for ruling
and so and so
just so and for so long
in case of
ideas held tightly
what the world must be
in order to provide safety
to ones inherited abuse
keeping cover through vast accumulation
I began again to learn
a new thing or two
and it’s benefits
how sometimes those choices keep us
where we are supposed to be
and give us opportunities to fly and flourish
without the prison walls of another
without seeing all the way into Dante’s vision of hell
(just a small glimpse kept me gasping for air for years)
I begin, again, to re-define the word wealth
and realize love, that is pure love
but does allow
for a transmutation of the grief
into a kind of sacred learning
a new way of dancing with myself
and as my world softly shifts
into this newly understood place
within my freshly tenderized heart
watered by the tears of plenty
of days of loss
wrestling and rumbling
with my need for connection
my desire to be seen by a beauty,
that even tho hidden from itself,
is still so glorious.
I wake up to this new day
knowing anything is possible
to those who believe
I am expecting something good to happen
because it always does
the light is on in the hallway
revealing the titles from my bookshelves:
One Thousand Gifts/Ann Voskamp
Eager to Love/Richard Rohr
Rising Strong/Brené Brown
It hits me how true the scriptures,
‘You are what you think about’
These writings color my path with grace
I think about these things
I am always becoming new
and I bow deep
as I breathe into this amazing diamond of a day
connection cannot happen without giving and receiving on both sides