Awakening

she who rises
she who rises

she who rises

At night, I fly to the island of bones, the first city, the wild waves, the river city, the desert. The places my heart has lived and loved and lost so much. I wake exhausted, the lack of rest heavy on my heart.

I shower to rinse away the nightmares. And still they linger, like shadows in the edge of my vision. The dead ones. The lost souls. The reckoning.

I throw cards. I throw cards. I throw cards.

I make biscuits for breakfast that fail to become dough, their batter slipping through my fingers like memory. I bake them anyway, imagining I can cut from the wreckage something of salvage. I give others the perfect circles, extracted like a precious artifact, from the pan. I take the crumbs, a penance.

My kitten tries to drink my coffee, the cream of coconuts not cows. He turns, looks up at me, disgusted. I sip happily again.

The pan goes in, the oven ablaze. Skin barely brushes the rack, and yet the pain is tangible. Searing, blinding, and then dull. The throb of memory, the thousands of cuts and burns of a lifetime each present in this new wound. I forget the cold water. I place an ice cube on my ring finger, just above a knuckle. The cold drips onto the table, my jeans, the kitten in my lap. I don't mind the mess.

Again and again and again, the sacredness of a quiet Sunday. Asking to turn off the television for the softness of music. A cup of coffee, again. A blue mug. Wolf howls throughout my day, messages from far and near. The lingering sting of a fire-mark, the moment of initiation. Returning to my body. Again. Waiting. Again.

And the moment, just after exhaling, before breath.

The awakening.