elegy in healing

Original painting ~ Pygmalion and Galatea, by Jean-Léon Gérôme.

Original painting ~ Pygmalion and Galatea, by Jean-Léon Gérôme.


Once upon a time, I looked out my window and saw a concrete building illuminated by the setting sun - golden and glowing. I wondered why the sun wasn't shining on me, promising myself I'd look past it by never looking into the past.

On beautiful rainy days, however, I want to begin again on my promise. The stoic in me begs me to remember anything but the hurt, the screams, the chest threatening to rip itself into pieces at the sound of what used to be your favourite love song. The stoic in me was hardly ever a stoic. The stoic in me is an essayist.

Some days my resentment is hot and molten, like an unforgiving Indian afternoon, but forgiveness learns to find its way to my tongue, even if all it does is make me quiet.

One friend says, ‘the heart is capable of big, big miracles’ and another friend says, ‘what's done is done, quality of the done be damned’ ; and the essayist in me is listening to them, grateful for their clear voices because my own voice is buried right now, but if I wait long enough - all the brightness that slipped out of my hands then, will shine all around me.

Once upon a time, love felt like pretend drowning, like when you hold your head underwater and test the last seconds of your breath before it gives up. You do this because you know if you scream, the water will swallow the entire city of your suffering and force your body to the surface like a miracle, like a surge of electricity into power cut houses; force you to reach for life, force you to let that light glimmer on your face. Force a tunnel vision to renewal.

I am learning, learning to forget things like discarding bodies into a lake, learning to wear forgiveness like a precautionary sweater on maybe/maybe not chilly evenings.

Oh, the things we forget & the sacrifices we make, to be able to let go.

Healing is a story, a phenomenon, an elegy.

Believe me when I say:

The heart is capable of big, big miracles.



Here it is: the soft body of it all

How the sky breathes your name

into dawn, and we form love with

our mouths closed.

[ Love Notes by Jade Mitchell ]

I feel a million petals forming in my stomach and heart and brain,

and out of this world into a painting, there’s my signature in the corner.

[ode to petaloso, by Dorothy Chan]

right along the side of the highway, write me

a love letter in the destination section of a gps

rewire my spine to follow lake shore drive please

take me to the place where my chest stops hurting

and i will stop giving myself reasons to stay

[ ode, on lake shore drive, by Felix Lecocq ]

in the middle of the night

the phone rang. It rang and rang

as though the world needed me,

though really it was the reverse.

[ Visitors from Abroad, by Louise Glück ]

I suppose

that’s survival: to appropriate what annihilates us, to make use of
what appears useless. I know this despite what it took

to know it. I know this despite the conceit of knowing.

[ East Mountain View, by Paul Tran ]

Don’t talk about my flavor unless you know that my flavor is insurrection,
it is rebellion, resistance

My flavor is mutiny

It is burden, it is grit, and it is compromise.

[ Mama, by Emtithal Mahmoud ]

Blood is fearless,

runs to meet a touch, indiscriminate,

remembers the first time it fell in love with the world, 

unaware that now you are alone.

[ Mirror, by Karen Solie ]