BEFORE WE HAD WORDS TO NAME FLOWERS
Exploring the limitations of light in a shining city on a hill.
This (recently completed) draft is the final poem to a book I have been working on since 2009. The poetry book is a reflection on my experiences of a half-century navigating professional and personal life in American culture as a GENX, neurodiverse, queer person from Appalachia.
— — — — —
I feel myself (again) transforming
Beyond the survival of cat scratch ferocity
Water and wind soothe the hardness of me
Unsteady, my mouth tries to sing
Within this shaky song
I feel the shape of forgotten music
(salvation notes on my tongue)
I recognize this music from a long ago journey.
A harmonized melody.
Music only found in flowers
that choose to open through
crucible and stardust.
No longer scared of my skin
I begin opening myself too
I sense gentleness finding it’s way to me.
I remember this thing
This thing coming toward me
I remember it as beauty
Beauty from a whispered universe
that calls the uncomplicated sophistication of flowers
On hot tin and mendacity
That feral sky drifts further away
Through roots and mud,
Things shackled to limitation
Transform into cool, wet seeds
Turning through hot scorched earth
they begin shaping
their own light.)
Pressing through sacred toes
further into earth,
a curiosity synchronizes
memory and desire.
My only intention now
Is tending to this wild, limitless garden
(of who I am)
Reclaiming those parts
(that have always been within me)
… before I followed others
who wanted me to believe
that we had words
to name flowers.