alchemy image man crawling

for those times when you slap against a stone wall inside yourself and crawl between the sheets to weep:
the wise woman tells you to sing your pain to the ocean and burn wood in the sand

anoint yourself with cedar oil and your grandmother’s name  wait and change   wait and change

you are the alchemy

in which
you have been dropped into the alembic vessel and boiled until you melt,

you consent to dissolve and coagulate into something you have never seen before.
all the pieces dissolving into the mush of you, formless sludge.
nothing you have ever done matters now.
you     can’t    hold    onto    it
in the slag, in the liquidated goo of your whole life
blended and mixed into the imaginal space

your high school education mashedtogether with the first time someone tasted you   the white fluffy dog you loved the most combinedovertimewith the first song to which you danced naked in your own apartment   all of it goes you cannot retain any thing the tides snatch it from your clenched fists   you release all the ways you wished for a valentine  all the times you burned the dinner   every rip that your hands have taped  all the prayers for her to come back to you   every button you sewed back on his shirt.
it’s gone into the mixture  the potion thick remnants of what you used to believe
nothing can be held back, you are a soup a puddle a quiet lake a lapping wave

here is healing

from here, you can taste the wild draught of freedom. You lift the glass to your chapped lips and sip.

(most people do not like it at first, it is a taste you will learn to love. Or you will run. there is no other way.)
whole body becomes only sweet and jarring hunger. life becomes questing lips. you lean in and you are kissed. Or you lean in and drink your way out of the moment.

you are not yet anchored, still swimming in coldfresh waters that reach all the way down. you wished for the bottom, to find it with feet or fingers, the point where you cannot go deeper, the low, the end, the ground, the bottom of your world.  you know there is no such thing as the bottom, it only dives further until you decide to to push off the walls of it, surface sputtering, kicking,


as if you must as if it matters that you draw
taking it in does not betray the watergift. your lungs require this

this is true   wounds heal from the bottom, reaching from the basement to the ceiling

the wise woman says the worst part is the middle   don’t mistake the middle part for the end
you don’t know what happens now. people have written of it, but no one believes them

the future is streaked in golden amethyst flame
turn off the squealing alarm clock, turn and face the bathroom light, the judgment of the mirrorglance.
you stretch out long and strange and alive in another way, in a glorious moving moment
this kind of morning is truth or dare. this kind of dawn asks everything from you.

the wise woman says at some point someday soon

a shining dark figure may approach you and offer a hand.   say yes to her.   her name is joy.

–GRS 2/1/16

(peacock photo by James Birch Campbell)

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