Let me die a hundred rattling deaths today.

just as i knew it would, it arrives with an old blade

well-whetted and thirsty

—the thing that i asked for, that i called by name

you might think that prayers are soft things, feathery

if you mean them, they are not

the small, silvery words that wait in the shallows

next to my tongue, are weapons

they know how to draw blood, demand it

here is my life wide open on the stone

how it has become the only offering that i own

how it watches me from the other side of the room, watches

to see what i will do, and i

am both child and crone

a weaver of circles, despite what i was shown

there are things i was not born into, where they now breathe in my hands

i made them

myself

from all that i was given

—the roots, the bitter herbs that i did not sow

that i refuse to reap

in the morning, with sleep-soft eyes

i open my mouth wide and i bless my bleached bones

with black of raven, with yew

let me die a hundred rattling deaths today, let me die

even seventy times seven

my life is watching, waiting

to marry my words, to dwell in sooth

to be one.

© Liezel Graham 2021

words about a thing that came after it was asked for, after i spoke it into shape and how, when it arrived, it needed me to cut through things in my life, asked for a sacrifice.

how we think that prayer is a soft, feathery thing.

it is not.

it is speaking things into their shape, breathing life into what is unseen.

use your words wisely.

let your life be a circle, ever opening to let one more soul in to warm themselves by the fire. your life is watching you, waiting to see if it can dwell in truth with your words.

{Image by Katie Moum on Unsplash}

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