Portrait in Stained Glass of the Soul, in the Throes of Living or Dying

– after “The Life Ecstatic” (2016) by Judith Schaechter

Tied to this field and rising, cocooned

in the blue of your own body’s binding.

Do you hear the larval teeth, the patient

scallops they draw around each leaf?

All is flush and overwhelming: scents

you never could possess in your one-

chambered belly, your partitioned

heart. But the only possible answer

tremors all the way across your ribs’

marimba. Its echo lodges in your throat,

though you will hold out until the last.

Isn’t that why all the speckled flowers

curve like spoons toward your mouth,

why they petal you in light that touches

without form, without shape,

without moon or weight?


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