An ask. A thank you.

  1. An incantation, a prayer, an ask.
  2. A thank you.

1. I ask for knowledge from the deep. Not just the deep, but the depths where I can’t reach, of my time here, my so-called footprints, of which I have purposely left none, yet many silently remain. I want deep connections, under soil. out of sight from the naked eye. Invisible communication.

An intergenerational mycelium network of dreams and experience, of stories that were forgotten to be told. Stories that may be of little importance to you, that one day may speak something, may call out some answer that’s been searching for me- for my son- for my sister-for the forgotten stories to be finished, to be heard through photographs and sewn together memories, with finely crafted holes like lace curtains, or the change left behind in the cracks of chairs after the owner is gone, small things like the smell of molasses or the smell of rum. The way we used to talk and how people often share their depth, their deep when you least expect it, when you’re often too young to fully understand or appreciate. But it sticks to you, like that sweet molasses, like stains of grass to your summer legs. These are the depths I mean. I want this. I ask for more of this please.

I don’t ask questions of deities, don’t clasp my hands or beg for forgiveness or mercy. I have a percentage of faith, i just can’t and don’t feel the need to name it. Some say atheist. I’m just not a hunter or gatherer of worship. It seems as though I learn exactly what I need, albeit often the hard way, but life has never been easy. It just doesn’t work that way. So I won’t ask for peace, or good health, because these things are by law of nature, only temporary. Life doesn’t work that way. Isn’t it beautiful and terrifying? Blissful and tragic? And somewhere between lies the magic itself.

When I ask for deep and depth I mean… remember that time when I was 8? Circa 1985? It was summer on the Cape. On the beach after a raucous electric storm had woken me half the night. The sea called me that morning. It was gray and wet, an ominous, cold day.

I climbed over wet dunes with winds still humming through the sea grass and stepped onto the beach. The Atlantic had washed ashore treasure from the deep. From depths I could never dare to swim. Creatures I had only seen behind glass. The beautiful and the terrifying. Deep like this.

The price for release from the sea was death. Secret, beautiful death along the beach. It may have been the first time I realized what irony meant. So surreal, the happiness at getting to be so close with these creatures and knowing the violent death they must have died, drowning in thin air, too much oxygen.

I found a stick and walked over to a manta ray that had found its resting place near the base of the sea wall. I half hoped it would be living so i could push it back to the sea. The stick broke under the weight of its fin-like wing. I wandered through pools of refugee jellyfish waiting for the tide to take them home, studying them with desperate fascination, picking up horseshoe crabs and sea stars, washed up, empty homes of shellfish. These were gifts or ghosts or messages from the deep. From the depths I could never reach.

This is the type of depth I seek.

2. A thank you.

A thank you for endless curiosity. For the everlasting quench to know more and explore and seek new things. Thank you for chances to be wrong and to learn from them. Thank you for realizing that I am a forgiving person, that I strive to be a forgiving person and that anger is a poison and toxin in my body. Thank you for teaching me to love, but not to hate. Thank you for a wonderfully flawed child who is my teacher and friend and who has shown me what it is to be a true warrior, to truly fight for justice. Thank you for my own flaws, being perfect would be exhausting and really there is no such thing. Thank you for this moment, for this opportunity. For knowing that I don’t know half of what I’d like to. Thank you for this life being a journey, a process we travel in our own ways.mary ghost

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You Already Are

I dream of closing my eyes, head back, feet rising above the treeline,

toes touching stars-swinging in the midnight summer air.

Being thrust into space and gently pulled back down again.

I dream of rising,

of shedding skin and transformation,

of just letting go of the thoughts and actions that don’t truly fulfill me.

I want a house in the country with a little path leading to a deciduous forest scattered with conifers.

I want a lush garden full of pollinators.

I want color where there was dark.                                                                                                                                            

I want dark where there was color.                                                                                                                                          

I want to stir things up and shake them around.                                                                                                                        

I want to make noise.                                                                                                                                                                

I want to be heard.                                                                                                                                                                    

I want to know my younger self again and tell her she’s going to be just fine.                                                                          

I want my words to echo in someone’s head.                                                                                                                            

I want stories told and learned.                                                                                                                                                  

I want passion and solitude.                                                                                                                                                      

I want to hold a hand that whispers in my language.                                                                                                                

I want to sleep soundly and profoundly dream.

I am slow determined growth,

molting,

rising,

marking my space.

I am just a small part in a grand scheme,

a galaxy within a galaxy.

I am integral,                                                                                                                                                                           connected,

electric.

I am.

Walk with fire

I awoke with languid limbs, heavy from dreams I was still speaking to.
My head a fog of past particles mixed by confusion and the sound of my son calling.
Winds had battered my window all night
A banshee knocking, beckoning me to come play
To be swept away in endless frozen gusts
I breathe deeply and promise myself I will get him to school, despite the arguing, despite the begging to stay warm and safe in dark blankets.
My gentle, yet strong words cut through his attempts
He finally cracks like ice beneath his boots and agrees to get dressed.
Only three hours late for school.
I sit in the car, warming my hands.
Just breath.
Just silence.
For the first time in sixteen days.
Home again, I dress the dog in his ridiculous coat and force myself into the subzero
The cold hard ground bites back
My face numb
Winter has taken me.

I walk slowly, letting the cold absorb me, watching the puddles, now miniature ponds
The smell of pine and smoke blowing past me.

I walk with a fire inside
A fuel
An eternal flame of defiance, devotion, disillusion
I envision the burning words I began this new year with

Goodbye to memories that taint my vision, goodbye to dead love lost and long buried, goodbye to fear of failure and exposure.

I am exposed.
Face and hands raw
Stepping determinedly
Like a predator
Like a wolf inside me
Ready to howl with neighborhood dogs paws up on fences
I stop and meet their eyes.
They know this cold,
This heavy gray

I walk with fire burning inside, my charred words resonating,
Hanging by strings
Held tight by ribs
And lungs
By layers of skin and clothing.

I release my breath, I bare my teeth
I watch this slow release
This air escaping in curls and whispers from my silent, empty throat.

I turn the corner toward home
I turn my back to the bitter cold.
I step inside
My stomach a space of grounding, of intuition and trust.
A new breath of fiery coals.

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When lips part

When my lips part
ghosts slip out
A procession that pulls thoughts
A string of paper hearts
Swaying in the night
Dark and inviting
Like the of a hollow tree

From the cauldron of my stomach
Rising like steam
A lion’s roar
Where sharp teeth and tongue collide
Release.

Whispers of love pass through
and land quietly like leaves
Dispersing like seeds in wind.

I like my words to stick
Like pollen to a bee
Sweet like nectar

I take risks
Searching for the perfect sounds
The way to make you understand
To make the words pierce like a thorn
To make space in your skin
They settle there
Waiting for you to digest.

When I part my lips it is unfiltered
Muddied up
Messy and raw
Words echo inside chambers
Outside they are uttered
Then gone.

Traveling only as fast as sound carries them
Only far enough to reach
To reverberate and dance around another’s inner ear
Heard once
Then fades
Then disappears.

Practicing the Art of Opening

Open like a field
Grass between my toes
Brushing against my shins
Every insect alive with sound
Wings buzzing
Legs rubbing together
I sing with crickets
Their rhythm like the beat of my heart.

Eyelids jump like grasshoppers
Arms stretched like a praying mantis
Skin tight like a chrysalis
I sway with the wind
Bending like branches
Lips wet like morning dew on petals.

My thoughts carried on the thorax of ants
Twice my weight
Heavy and with purpose.

I open like a meadow from the forest
Streams of sunlight bursting through shadows
Translucent skin
Hot sweat
Sweet like nectar

Words fall like pollen
Dusting my tongue
Dispersing like cottonwood tufts
Seeds traveling high above my head
Free to find new homes
New roots
To share fresh soil with my heels.

A robin’s nest in my belly
Eggs as blue as a summer sky
Incubating
Hatching in my left ventricle
Wings erupting
Breaking my heart open
Spilling out of my chest
Resting on blades of bright green
Cutting me open
Like a wild raspberry bush
Aggregate fruits

Symbiotic mutualism
Every organism connects to another
Like veins
Like spiderwebs

Open like
Laws of thermodynamics
Energy cannot be created
Or destroyed

I am circadian rhythms
Evolving entropy
Carving out my niche

Open

I study the way water caresses the shore, the gentle pulse and pull. No thought, just free movement.

The crash of chaos turned soft, like wrapping yourself in a white cotton sheet fresh from the line, cooled by strong summer winds. Fueled by dragonfly wings.

I watch the maps the water creates, a cartographer leaving tales of currents and fresh rain. An old sea.

Open to the sheer beauty, the truth of time and the look in my ancestors’ eyes, how they visit me in dreams. How easily I overlook such meaning. Lost.

It’s become easier to close myself, to bury in earth and walls than to wind toward the sun, trusting growth.

Open like tears that flow down my face each time I hear Moonlight Sonata. The way Beethoven or a forest floor, a waterfall, holding my son’s hand, a bed of ferns just feels like home to me.That kind of beauty, inherent and vulnerable, young yet a lifetime, a library of memories.

A trail of fear lies behind, boxes and parts of me strewn across the country. I return each time, to this shore looking across state borders, always looking west, mountains lining the horizon. Lost in sunsets.

I want to feel the stillness, the calm within the storm. Forget about before or after. Stop trying to determine my own future. Just flow. Water washing over my toes. This simple silent beauty. A quiet connection to it all.

A Love Letter to Self

A love letter to myself. A parting gift, an offering. A bleeding heart tied in string, beating delicately. The removal of such vital parts, an open cleansing.

I float this anatomical heart like a velvet kite, wrinkled and worn. Let go like I did as a child. Push it toward the sun.

Third grade, a secret note scribbled with a message to no one, tied to a red balloon, return address complete. I imagined it would soar across seas, that some stranger in a foreign country would see it land softly at their feet, or save it, tangled in a tree. A simple red balloon with the power to soar in jetstreams, through fog in and around constellations. Waiting, just waiting to be noticed, to be read, to softly give in, allowing gravity to choose its destiny. 

I cast my heart, bleeding over fields, strawberry rain. Empty me. Mi corazon, washing ashore on some foreign beach. Children poking it with sticks, sealing it in a mason jar, tucked in a bed of moss. It rests far outside of me. I give it away without fear, without return. I feel the beat, a phantom organ pumping memory through me.