devotion (all the ways life gives fire)



"my devotion, to things arising like sparks in my being"
(all the ways life gives fire)

  1. sanctuary.
  2. the comma mark that is the curve of her back when falling asleep.
  3. the way my body fits around hers, skin to skin, limbs tied up together like intimate origami.
  4. bob dylan.
  5. alter of hearts.
  6. worn jeans, ripped. and the mending that keeps them hanging together.
  7. holy water and rosewood and ashes.
  8. the outlaw in me.
  9. not knowing what comes next.
  10. the taste of salt and mangoes on the tongue.
  11. paths of poison.
  12. silk cotton sheets, smooth and warm from the dryer.
  13. the jaw bone, open.
  14. the pages of books. the way they smell. the markings in the margins. the worlds found in words strung together like car lights on the highway, all those people in the dark, moving toward or away from home.
  15. all that is real. without pretense. without made up words or image posturing or explanations. just the face exposed, the hands outstretched, the trigger of heartbeat and the echo of inhale. the willingness to love reality, on its own terms, for its own sake.
  16. legwarmers. and ripped up sweatshirts.
  17. the language of dancing, how it feels, when the body moves and remembers.
  18. flying lessons. that moment, right as wheels leave ground and plane lifts into air.
  19. the way hair smells after sitting around a campfire late into the night.
  20. la loba
  21. my hedonistic skinned knee prayers to the living.
  22. bread rising.
  23. a compass.
  24. ink stained fingers.
  25. fried green tomatoes.
  26. knowing when it is time to leave.
  27. that moment, when i knew i was going to stay, and it was good.
  28. kiki de montparnasse.
  29. the way some stories come and find you, and you didn’t even know you were looking for them, but you needed them still. or they needed you.
  30. bare legs.
  31. library stacks, and how i would go sometimes and sit there, in the middle of them, not even reading or researching or writing. just sitting there, like i could drink the quiet and fall in love with the stillness that rests right there, right before the moment of possibility, when anything could happen.
  32. evolution.
  33. integrity. saying what you mean. meaning what you say.
  34. devotion itself. the shape of it as it lives inside me. not a thing. not a practice. not a ritual. not a doing. but an orientation. the shape of the arrow itself and the place the arrow points to. the slicing open and the pouring out, the great mad love of it all.
  35. the fragments of overheard conversation. wondering what was said right before and right after.
  36. coming out, in all the ways. standing strong and arched ever so slightly, hip curved out and face of crooked smile,  in the still center of my irreplaceable and unrepeatable life.
  37. coffee with cream, in bed, first thing in the morning.
  38. hieroglyphics of hope and unholy want that will be your deliverance.
  39. kimonos with fringe.
  40. typewriters, the click of the keys and the cadence of words smacked up against white paper.
  41. happening upon someone having a solitary moment in a public place.
  42. trusting myself.
  43. the way new orleans feels right at that point when it is not clear if it is very late at night or very early in the morning, and you hum and shiver with life.
  44. walking away from a publishing moment that would mean lots of attention but my words turned inside out to the point where they no longer resemble the shape of my mouth or hands. and so saying no. thank you, but no. and in the moment it was said, knowing i made the decision that felt most right and true and good to me.
  45. doors.
  46. the way the geography of landscape and interior ecology  change, when driving west for hours that turns into days. how you forget your name and remember who you have yet to become.
  47. truth: momentary, robust, messages in the mouths of birds.
  48. the way i can feel my head tilt to the side, ear pressing toward shoulder, when i’m thinking and waiting for the word to find its way from heart valve to vein to image to language to mouth, into the space waiting to receive.
  49. how no one can save you but yourself. and then that moment, when you realize you don’t need saving. you never did.
  50. over the knee boots.
  51. red vines.
  52. the way bodies speak.
  53. how messy life is. how stained and scarred. how beautiful.
  54. post it note calendars, the placing them up and the taking them down.
  55. the feeling that something good could happen any moment.
  56. how no one else can be me. how stunningly singular we all are, even as we seek and reach out and want to know we are not alone.
  57. all those ink blots spilled out over religious art, torn out of books. so look at it, at the ink splayed in every direction, at mary and how the angel is coming to her and telling her unthinkable things and john the baptist is ascending up the mountain into the wilderness and someone is about ready to make a sacrifice and someone else is about ready to remember what they once promised, and tell me, what do you see?
  58. the conversations that happen in hospital waiting rooms. how some part of me knows i belong here.
  59. the moment when i walked away from car, back to the door, where she would be walking out a moment later, and stumbled into the risk of asking for what you want without knowing what comes next, kissing in the middle of the sidewalk.
  60. antlers.
  61. amnesty.
  62. the moment when I knew I would never again preform a contortionist act to keep another beside me.
  63. the iris that grew in my grandmother’s backyard.
  64. bare feet and hardwood floors and fur blankets and hydrangea.
  65. disco balls and lipstick
  66. memory of the hustle that lives in my skin
  67. agency.
  68. fishnet stockings.
  69. the ocean. the ocean. the ocean.
  70. unanswerable questions.
  71. that moment, of feeling somehow held by or within something so much larger than me.


(with gratitude for Liberated Lines: Flash :: tell me.)