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After the Atlanta Spa Shootings, We Sat in a Field

If there’s anything / that still surprises me / it’s the fact joy too has weight.

Poetry | Poetry Tuesday
March 15, 2022

               sprawled over grass 

                                                                made an endless planet 

by nightfall. Our faces 

                                              lifted to the season’s end

               were a cloister of moons.  

                                                                I asked for a legend 

about what glows

               so we could fill our bellies 

                                              with something death 

                                                                hasn’t yet touched. 

              To be moved 

                                              by what’s untouchable 

               means we are conduits for more

than flesh, fallibility. 

               To ready ourselves 

                                                          for gentleness, then, 

                                              is to make a landscape 

                                                                of desire, translate farewell 

              into the sum of all distances

measured by light. 

                                              Nothing’s as visceral 

              as the hard-won kiss

                                                                where we press our lips 

to ghosts & inhale 

              until we are vessels for life

                                                              still unlived. 

              Genealogy creates room.

I only have my shadow 

                         to bear—& even that is theory 

                                                                in another throat. 

We are both endangered 

                                              species, you & I, 

              but the weight

of your heart’s chambers

                                              upon my breast

                                                                was a dream 

              no prayer could give us. 

If there’s anything 

                                          that still surprises me 

              it’s the fact joy too has weight. 

                                                                That at the end of all hurts

there lies another to climb out of 

                                          while wearing your own face.