Softer

Go softly.
Softer.
Softer, still.
We’re all in the belly of the beast now
so find a place to lay your head down
and sink deep into the thick velvet
of your animal body.

What happens now?
Now that the ghosts of the machine
have haunted the halls of purity
wrapped in their flags and audacity
chanting manifestos of violence
and the monster
has finally started
to devour itself.

I see you praying to Jesus
when what you need is Baba Yaga
and the old trickster gods
of your wayback people.
I see you venerating the Virgin
when there is no innocence left
inside porcelain flesh
and we all come from the soft wet folds
of a woman.

So what now?
Now that we’ve forgotten how to show up
with blood, bone, and grit at the table
ready with
courage of heart
willingness to repair
impeccable with our words
and accountable in our actions.

Fine tune your tongue
to speak the dialect of a body
that has chosen to be whole
and eat the seeds of longing
that will plant a lion’s roar in your throat.
Breathe in, breathe out;
the oscillation between
the truth that sits inside your ribcage
and the words that leave your lips.
Will they be violent?
Will they be loving?
How else could you possibly express
who you are
if not by how you choose to live?

Pull yourself up to the fire
and ready your quiver
sharpen your vision
and gather your tools:
The old myths and stories,
so you remember what to do.
A pinch of mugwort in your pocket,
to walk you through the dreamtime.
Rosewater,
to cool the fire.
A spell scrolled on birch bark,
to stoke it.
A heart song,
so the moon knows how to find you.

Beauty will still have it’s way with us
while we make space
for grief
and anger
and sadness
and rest
and laughter
and play
and tears
and grace
and joy
and right action.

It’s your move, sweet thing.
Do not lose heart
listen closely
remember who you are
and take the very next step
that’s right in front of you.

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