the secret cure

feet on the earth
i learn the secret cure
to every crisis i know
hear an answer to every question
a soothe for every heartache and wander
every loneliness
every despair

nothing is erased
skin of my body against the skin of the world
grass braiding into the soft hair of my shin
there is room for every breath of my life
that is the secret

i will never fix life
not as a whole arc
nor a system of parts
that is the secret

i can only dance to the drums spilling upward tectonic
i can only sing as the wind rushes through my throat
i can only love each miracle i am gifted
i can only learn what i hunger to know
the horizon a trick of the eye
my curiosity a cultivated landscape
i can only fight the wars i know to see
and only with the weapons i practice wielding
songs, roots, spells, dreams

i am absolutely insignificant
but also, everything

even god is made small in our mouths
everything holy remains unnamed, unseen and unspeakable
that is the gift

the days are numbered by mystery
real love will never waste my hours
the dirt knows more than i can grasp
the wisdom of bones and memory
and grief’s bitter residue

i am a being of waves and cycles
not destinations, not even achievements

if i cannot let go of betrayal
there will be no room in my life for blessings –
this is the wisdom of home, of my backyard
what the sugar maple there whispered against my back
when i stood barefoot and humbled
explaining my decisions to a tortoise
to the hummingbirds
to the geese landing on the winter pond

the soil beneath my feet
said to catch sunlight in my palms
shake off everything dead
root deeper, be naked, move towards light
be patient, be water
welcome feeling back into my life
touch hearts when solitude becomes sharp
touch earth when being human breaks me

now this small pond sings ocean to me:
even at the peak of the mountain
we leave you sea shells
we promise to barnacle everything you build

seek a life that does not hunt you
that is the secret
carry the seed that leaves you full
that is the secret
grow the ease that makes you blush
that is the secret
receive the gifts that make you cry
that is the secret

i think i am diving deeper again
but instead i’ve crested the hill
singing the slowest song i know
wounded, of course, and still
vast as any whale on any ridge
beached, perhaps, but still breathing
there is room for every part of my life
that is the secret