January

First month of the year, named for
the ancient Roman god of beginnings,

doorways, transitions and endings: poised
at the terminus of change, countenance

like a book with leaves splayed open
to face forward and back. And I too

am caught perennially in passage,
ambivalent nature wanting most of all

to hold on but also to let go. Another
cycle, another drift; and no real

middle ground between knowing and not-
knowing, between feeling like I’m done

here, and like I’ve only just begun. Amid
the bright, tinny noises of celebration,

desperately I long for silence; and in
the thick of silence, want to be taken back,

enfolded instead of exiled. I am a boat
sailing forward into the current, and what

the water brings back because it doesn’t know
what else to do. I’m the girl that picks up

the vessel and fills it at the well, only
to empty it on walking back. I shield a flame

in darkness; in sunlight I shade my eyes. I break
and put myself together, over and over again.

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