“Knowing What You Know Now, Would You Choose to Be Born?”; A Meditation, After Rumi; Sacred Moments
“Knowing What You Know Now, Would You Choose to Be Born?”
Don’t say no out loud. Don’t admit
that gold-sponged April isn’t enough,
that the first milky sip of coffee or fuchsia
bougainvillea on a Greek patio don’t provide
moments that make life worth its worry.
Such reflection belies the plaques in each
cheap beachside shop that remind us
to be merry, or what fun we should feel,
even about the small, sappy ways we go wrong.
The world demands our sloppy awe.
I’ve been struck down too many times.
Stuck, poisoned, drained, radiated fourteen years.
Truly, if not for love, I would choose oblivion.
Sweet love, a stone jammed in my jaw.
A Meditation, After Rumi
Eyes closed, breathing,
I’m suddenly awash in blue,
in cobalt, deep as lapis lazuli,
and then, waves of indigo.
I let the colors float around me—
clouds, steam, loosening.
Breached, the walls of fear,
the terror of annihilation.
Even if briefly, peace arises
softly, so soft I could fall
face down into it, unhurt,
and my prison, a mist.
A wonder I hadn’t noticed,
before, how easily it dissolves.
How I can walk right through it.
One evening, I lay on my stomach, weeping,
wondering at what moment death would come.
My brain heated like broth, shaking the lid of the pot.
The only thing that calmed me down was my son’s voice,
narrating a Lego battle in his bedroom.
It was a day of doom, with many casualties.
I lay still and thought, I have you, you, you,
though my son wasn’t even aware that I listened,
or that I had lost control of the motions of my face.
Somehow, I summoned the spirits of my sisters,
who sat in the bed with me and waited, silent webs,
till I was calm enough to get up and leave the room.