Tessa, One Heart

Look at the birds, he said.
And I looked. What is the sky within,
I asked. The spaciousness we, imagining,
feel. The first sky, must it, it must
belong to God? When you say flying’s
born out of nothing, I thought about the
vagina as orifice–

to open at either end of day

and my baby fastening on as a sermon,
threadbare, mysterious as sky–
glowering mother glazed,
strenuous, open
so this be the work of wings, this be
the most showy thing about
you, O God, falling into me.

Prompt: So I didn’t mean to write about birth. But there it is. Birth is pretty amazing. In fact I rate it as the.most.amazing.thing. Unless you’ve experienced it personally for yourself you don’t know how amazing. And I also got thinking about holes. They are, in fact, portals. Holey=holy in my book. Anyway, we’re full of holes, aren’t we? (Metaphorically too. :)) I don’t have to specify, right? Eyes, nose, ears, mouth and the ass and then the vagina. That has got to be the most amazing hole. It is where a human being is minted. So I guess, the prompt is to write about holes/holiness. You can be mystical about it. Oh, please do. What can you say about a baby falling out of you?

The referent for my poem is of course, Li-Young Lee’s poem, “One Heart”.

Look at the birds. Even flying
is born

out of nothing. The first sky
is inside you, friend, open

at either end of day.
The work of wings

was always freedom, fastening
one heart to every falling thing.

~ Li-Young Lee ~


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