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A Poem: A Thousand Ways 

I shift my weight from one foot to the other
In my body, I follow worry through the world
   like a raindrop pursues gravity
There are a thousand ways to purge the soul,
but I’ve never learned their names

I imagine lighting candles made of skulls and
   releasing ten cries of feminine, feral power
I wake up still a lonely bird
I am no wolf
I am no wild nomad
I am a trail of water waiting to meet the land

On a sign along a freeway, beside a psalm of Luke 2:38,
   is scribbled in purple ink this precious declaration:
I will not force the wound to howl
I think of the moon
and the work we do to carry pain
I think of the prayerful silence of a puddle
and the songs we sing about water

I imagine I can open my belly like a skylight
Lay it flat against the soil until the soil becomes skin
I place my wound beside an anthill
and listen to its quietness
There are a thousand ways to come back home
I only know this one

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