093c3ac60161fdab3e0a048f7e5ccf6cThe day they pricked paint into her back
permanent and violet
she grew a lotus mandala
lending a little stigmata wisdom
to the thin bones of her grow
for she didn’t know that year
whether to follow sharp train tracks and disappear
into the woods not to be discovered
or walk into winter blizzard
feeling her way through to
imposing red bricked hospital
sagging against its frame like
an auburn flame caught in globe
shaken from foothold
placing her wet gloves on chaffing radiator
tell the patient man behind his mahogany desk
littered with prescriptives for disease of the mind
I am not well I am not well I am not well
you must take me from my freedom and tie me up
in a satin bow atop a new gift of hope
somewhere I cannot think or pass
in my mouth the marble and coinage
of my jailer
if she had let herself fall then
with his regard whiskering her lament
and plummet like a fire consumed comet
for the first time without control just
the ember of her flaming skirt searing
a series of interrupted tap dances
spanning shortened  life
in the direction of diminishing
sticky mouthfuls of sweet jam taken in dark
tap tap tap tap
braille, wittled cane, white and wooden
hers was the fear of generations
her grandmother, her grandfather
laid to rest in sweet meadow of
Mont-Ventoux, beyond lavender fields
where their metallurgic table of elements
could rest from unquenched desire to end
take your medicine
euthanize the unrest
let the sleep of the dead
usher silence in prayer robe
when he died
holding his dry paintbrush
when she died
clutching her wet scripture
when their loss mixed in formula
writing her DNA prophecy
she learned to lace up her unease
absenting breath needing not to breathe
not today doctor
not ever
these houses for the poor of heart
medicated, inviscerated, shuffle in
do not come out
she left her gloves on the radiator
followed her tracks back through virgin snow
easier when you cannot really see where you go
somehow standing amidst the roar
sea on dry land, oceans in desert flowers
it might take defying your legacy to survive
it might take not wishing to be the next pin to escape
bowled over by shared cross-stitched disease
even the empty
even the weak
she got a tattoo of a lotus
on the small of her back
where men had whispered hot and slow
you are slender like a branch
I want to bend you in two as green willow
will not snap
supple in bow, play me never
this girl has forged her symphony war
out of rising in morning, ready to give up
she survived percolating tendency
and the ones who thought her lean
pressing her against shiny coffee tables
unbuckling their murmuring distaste
for respect
thinking her a orfice, a receptacle, alabaster secret
and not a girl capable of swallowing fire
they did not believe in signs and wonders
nor warriors who wear no armor
she stands in her diluted ink
she is the beginning, the circular, the ending
of ways we are forced to be
a stain lies on her skin
it feels like an angels imprint
lending courage for the quiet
of soul, who gathers the leftovers
surviving beyond her welt
she is merciful to the meek
as a storm gathering in force, swells against
shore, building momentum
turning the raw belly of sky