we all have chernobyl in our lungs

we all have chernobyl in our lungs

we children of catastrophe
cannot sleep
focused on fissures

who left us to die?
those close enough to slip away instantly?
those poisoned
coming apart in the cells?
those willing to risk it all?

the salt sea and fertile loam
can still taste that bitter
and radioactive dust

that slow, invisible ash:
our future

what cannot be contained
becomes us
what i mean is
we all have a cancer now
within us, or between us
in our own bodies
in our structures
in the bodies we love
in the structures we need

directly in our bones
creating rocks from our softest tissues
pitting thyroids and prostates against us
strangeness creeps into us
equal parts violation and colonization
flags of disaster
on each play

now, that contaminated soil
is on the road between the reckless
and the wreck
and in my body i feel the earth
wishing for respite

we all have nuclear bodies
in search of remediation
our bodies cannot hold
this much rage
this much greed

earth does not consent to the violation of war
we do not consent

touching the profound

recently, many times, i have touched the profound.

it wasn’t just a good day, but a series of days – weeks – where i felt interconnected, and on purpose, and vibrant, and met, and loved and loving and adaptive. of the world, literally, made of the substance of all that exists. and even when struggle and crisis arise, i feel able to meet it with that profound energy, which translates into curiosity and awareness.

it is not lost on me that this sense of aliveness coincides with a break from social media. and comes in the wake of a season of despair, facing the things which make me shudder with doubt about human purpose.

i read some things that brought me deeply into this wonder, and i have and will share those.
but this recent contact with the profound feels most deeply rooted in practice. and it occurs to me that i want to write a poem about this kind of experience:

love is this humbled crawl
from dirtself to godself
stripped of masks and pontifications
i find no difference
ask anyone, love unveils it
we are divine cells of earth

endless and special

i writhe in the soil
until a rhythm comes
i dance through the swampheat
oil spills rainbow my grief
burrow to the molten core of me
pounding the heart of everything

flame in our kiss

i love myself in cycle!
every day reveals the ongoing ritual
by which i show myself devotion
candles lit, i raise a bowl to my lips
give thanks for the labor of sustenance
and the body which can swallow it

we bow, flesh to concrete

to trust love i must surrender
to the awe of being human
even falling far from heaven
i am sacred, worth forgiveness
worth prayer, lust and tenderness
i am never separate from god

and she wanders in us

to trust love i gaze in mirrors
soft eyes recognizing my distinct life
by its flaws
i swoon for each wound and scar
i remember: i’m made of the same dust
as mercury and mars

we are constellation

i remember: when my lover worships me
it is the love in me for myself
that can receive it, can believe it
i remember: my first breath was like this
loving myself enough
to demand to be held

we emerge helpless

i leave no dark unturned
no vast expanse unexplored
no mystery ignored
i have only one lifetime in which to love myself
so i will be naked
and i will be known

we each live
a whole world in one story
– let it be a love story
we have only one lifetime in which to love ourselves
so let us be naked
and let us be known