Today in the resistance: “Underbelly”

So this post is cheating just a little bit.  I committed to posting every week, and so I am putting this up here tonight.  However, I am out of town and do not have the brain power to write something new tonight as I prepare for a 9 hour drive tomorrow morning.  I’ll post something else — just later this week, hopefully.  Siri helped me take notes on what to write on the way here…I  simply haven’t had time to convert them into something other than rough notes in Siri-speak.

Regardless, here is a poem.  I’ve been thinking about art and the necessity of art during these times.  This was one of those poems that was born from a place of resistance: from claiming Self.  This was written from that place of fire burning in the pit of your stomach when everything seems dark.

Underbelly

Sometimes
the poem is born from the
underbelly where the
fire lies. These days, I
walk through months inhaling
fire and
ghosts that leave me
gasping. Stick to my lungs like
gravity and weigh me
heavy; I will
write from the underbelly where

broken turns broken
open like too much becomes over-
flowing like
river. Like
can’t contain this
tried to tame this
tried to train this
tried to good girl this
truth, this real, this
human, this
woman out of me, like —

I am learning to breathe this body.
Learning to move to
unsmall myself, learning to expand.
You may not chain me: I am
untethered, frightened and
flying. Everything you fear is here
living in this broken,
holy body. I will risk
the blossom of this
too much, this
intensity this
truth-stained, battered, transparent
heart of a body is all I have and I will
rely on her for she is
fierce.

God, teach my heart to
believe these words. I shed tears to
believe these words. It took
years to remember how
to pull my tear ducts open:
now I let old
pieces of me fall like
stars — hope-filled and
sad, yet
beautiful in the
dark.

God, make me fierce
enough to hold this holy
boldness. Turn me vast and
spacious: unleash in me a wondering
furious love to keep me
moving
fighting
wanting
speaking.
Here.

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