thirty-seven (comet’s cradle)

by nike, December 8, 2014

This image was … borrowed from ‘Spryos07’ on DeviantArt

When I was young I thought I understood everything.

I thought I knew what pain was, and what to do with it, how to recover from it. I thought I knew what it would mean to bear a child, and raise them, and love them.

I didn’t know enough to be frightened by the fragility of the hearts that beat a fingerspan below my own.

I didn’t understand about the forests and the hunters. The frosts that penetrate your bones. The hooks that catch in your lungs, that tug you up through the winter air. I was like a captivity-born fox loosed from a cage. Wild and unafraid. Racing out into the forest. Knowing nothing. Loving everything.

The truth is, no one
who has been caged
enters the world completely

Some part of you remains
in the cage. Some part of the cage
remains in you

and mothering
is a series of wounds
you make in your own skin

you pluck the bones from yourself
to make a cradle for the future

a process you will never
complete; a quest at which
you have always already failed.

The truth is, none
of the things they tell you
are true: love is not easily
returned; It is not
harmless. It is rarely, if ever,

All of the harm
in this world emerges from
and is consoled by love.

You’re falling now;
You’re fallen. And I
am one of those to blame for
–one of those who is awed by–
the beautiful way you burn.

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