Everywhere a Ceremony: Poems on Rituals


On a bathroom floor that is not my own, a silent wail--
face red, split open like the drought of the earth drinking rain,
veins of my neck and arms awakened pythons, 
water breaths through parted lips, open palms to sky I send: 
“All of me is aching," and, "How do I manage this with honor?”
A conversation felt. Another wave, another shore.
I wash my face with cold water. 
I rub ylang ylang into the soft patch of skin behind my ears. 
My chest is lighter than when I walked in.
I do it all again a few hours later.


I stand over oil hot, gather, stir—
keep it warm, time it right. 
A Thursday and my third winter beside you,
on my toes to reach two bowls,
broth just the way it was, when you said, 
it's the best soup you've ever had. 
I made a mental note then, 
of what I did in that pot, 
to be sure it tastes like that 


I run the water to steam, thank the salt I scatter. 
I take a book of salving lines, 
a mineral for the place that asks, 
a candle for what wants to burn. 
I seep into the wanting to hold me all season. 
My ears submerged, my heart the drum, 
my breath the wind against the gable.
Drops of water from the drain, murmurs of distant neighbours, 
all a part of this choir. 
I hum from the basin of me, 
gaze upon words left for us like keys, 
forget that I am staring at the flame. 
I remember I am more spirit than I am body, 
in order to return to it.

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