I try not to be obvious
rationing the waffles.
I worry my beads
through long hours,
marked by the swish
of a cat’s voodoo tail,
the empress black and white
licking herself clean
in time to the click
of the clock’s kitchen wand.
I watch the maple tree’s fury
ignite the walk outside,
a sudden fire
I know to let rush in,
the magic red flush
that will fuel the furnace later,
when terror creeps
and threatens to freeze me.
Mercy is a mouth,
its cloud of moist heat
exhaled into crisp palms,
prayer relaxing the mind’s blue knot,
a tundra place
that melts, clearing a space
in the center of the chest. Whether
or not you agree
with the great poet from Ghana
who claims we’ve shot our wad
personifying the heart, still,
I trot those game girls out:
mind, body, yes, heart, yes, soul.
There’s no dividing the divine
and what remains
still takes possession,
writhing and spitting
on a wrist of crossed wires:
the pulse point reflected
as the medicine bag descends
from heavenly rafters.
Where the skin of the floor
is met with a cuneiform stone,
the earth and axis mundi,
hot charms of engagement
that get the engines revved.
Where the drums beat so loud
your ears bleed
and you remember who you are.
"When the Work Runs Out Again" a poem by Michelle Bitting
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Photo used under CC.