See, when you’re this close to shattering, you sew
yourself together and call it love. Only as weak
as your weakest seam, you punch the steel
through skin again because really, you wanted
to unravel. You hem your words back
into your throat and double up the thread
until what echoes back when you sing
to the crows is a tune that infests your bones.
You can dance to this tune and call it holy
and mistake the rain for threads of its own.
You can pray to spiraling birds, spiraling stitches,
spiraling feet in mud and home, because you’re told
God is in everything, even the echoes, but your ears
are double-stitched, for how better to tightly hold
in the scraping tenor of the crows? In the black flashes
of their feathers you see water, earth, and the fire
of alone. Even your eyes are a quilted patchwork of
dying embers and undying hurt, or so said the liar
who loosened the cold ribbons of your hair, precious
as Rumpelstiltskin’s straw, but not his gold.
Your blood is sacred, scarlet thread, your skin is silk
drawn tight, so of course you dance on rain-bruised stones
and tell everyone you’re all right. After all, you saw God
tonight in rain, stitches, and the harsh honesty of crows,
and placed every ounce of love for yourself into needles
and dancing bones.
This poem won the Ekphrastic Challenge and was published in Issue XX by High Shelf Press, July 2020