Her Dark Materials

Photo by Johannes Plenio via Unsplash

I have wonderful news! My new poetry collection Temporary Skin (my first one in English!) was accepted for publication by Glass Lyre Press. I couldn’t be happier and more excited about working with the Glass Lyre team. I love the authors they publish, the high quality of their books, their amazing covers! I know my manuscript is in good hands. I wish my mom were here to see this miracle in progress. She would have given me tips on how to deal with this overwhelming joy swirling inside me, making my fingertips tingle. I’m going to have a book, y’all!

The poem below is part of this upcoming collection and it was first published by Bellingham Review in the fall of 2020. I wrote the first draft of this poem during NaPoWriMo 2017. So grateful for its journey and the journey of all my other poems, from their first tentative steps to leaping across the page and landing in a magazine, and a book, and hopefully, one day, finding a foothold in a reader’s heart.

Her Dark Materials

When it’s over, I wash
prayers and curses out of my hair.
I stuff them into a pillow.
I sleep.
There are no dreams.
I’m not haunted by the lives I take.

When I was young
and the work of my hands still new,
I liked to watch them struggle.
Now, the worst of their pain
has lost its flavor.

It’s turned me to stone, this world.
Its greedy little creatures,
constantly eating. Words,
worms, one another.
I’ve lost the hope to live in a place
where I’m not needed.

Mine is a lonely existence, but one
I’m well-suited for.
I wouldn’t trade it for yours.
Time is on my side.

Each morning, I open the door
and Time rushes in
with all the unspent energy
of a puppy, tail wagging,
tail wreaking havoc.
I calm it down with kisses,
scratch behind the ears.
We go for a walk.

Up in the hills, is the forest.
Things die there, too. Time
covers them with moss.
Time covers me with moss.
I don’t mind getting dirty.
I like it.
I chase Time through the woods,
then Time chases me.
We rest by the river. We drink.
I talk and Time listens.

The trees smell good and I
smell good among the trees.
Like the earth that takes and takes
all my gifts, except me.
Like the wind that combs my hair
with light.
Like the light.

First published in Bellingham Review, Issue 81, Fall 2020

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