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“Faith is daring the soul to go beyond what the eyes can see.”— Anonymous ______

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Rebecca Mizhir Rebecca Mizhir


Equitation for Lovers

We murmur like dark horses from a whispered mind,
***** pawing and entrenched. Our courtship is filled with tender contusions,
soft rejections, the way turning away from the other can mean a love of the self.
***** I dream a concert of cherries aligned with the phases of the moon, your breath, your mouth.
You hand me four cards of sky blue, as if to say take a moment, pause, catch your breath.

We spend whole countries this way, trotting and glistening,
***** hazing into each other, seduced by our five senses but willing to try a sixth,
kinesthesia, the sense of movement under the skin,
***** where you are malt and river, I am ginger and wind.

We go amuck in the unevenness underfoot.
***** As the night rolls in, the hoot of owls allows for faltering,
for a silver-green ravine, a ledge. Questions hoist the stars into the sky.
***** Turpentine is the only substance I can equate with where we end.

We canter separately into the distance, no looking back.
***** You take up with a churchgoer, I with a mayor of no repute.
Days will pass with both of us staring into the distance. You will hear your hoofbeats,
***** I will dapple under my winter coat.
A rhythm of rapidly fading distance will bum itself into our stolen woods .


Canticles


***** A quaking, somewhere between the belly and the wings. An acceptance, where ugliness fnds love and the rivers do not rise in judgment out of their beds. A generosity, where foreigners instruct us in emotion and we learn that all the bets made on us are forgiven. I grab for your hand and remember the salty edge of your teeth, the way one grain of white can stand for the space between your longing and my taste.
***** It's a discipline we're learning, as we begin to fill in the empty grave we were digging somewhere in northern territory and choose instead to build a house. Once, you gave me a sign once about writing. It said, “One moment it's a pen. One moment it's paper. One moment it's rapture.”
***** When you gave it to me, you were hoping to show me how we cannot know what will happen next. You were telling me that you trusted the blue watts coming from our electric muse, the phrasing of my forearms beating from the inside of your chest.
***** You delivered a small package to me today, the footnotes to our poem. I looked but I could not find the bones of your mother, the country of my father. When I asked you for them, you said they were still being excavated, so we made stories out of the words on the package. You gently pressed the red stamp for postage into my breast.
***** Wind came down like crows on a green hillside and the forest opened in each of our chests. Ten delectable mysteries, soft as butter in our hands, pulled their strings together. I thought, I am blooming here, I am finding a chord of blue which represents all the ways willows hold together when they are willing to bend.


Song to the Difficult Self

I was never given a drill or a hammer, a pair of leather gloves or a socket wrench,
never given anything that would dirty my hands or ruin my face.

I went out for stains, though, into mud and pondscum,
sutured by the broad stitch of meadows, guided by articulate hands of wheat.

Untethered, never given the order that said “boy” or “girl”,
I was chanced by being unattended, left to manner myself into maturity,

raised by the slip of our cracking road and the weather of my wounded heat.
My brother's method of raising himself was to kamikaze around the forest raising hell,


breaking and entering into old men's cabins', stealing their Playboys,
oblitgrating the dream of adulthood. I watched him from the windows of our barn,

thumbing my nose at his drive towards destruction, thinking we were safe because no one was watching.
I didn't know I wished there were someone with us on this journey we should not be taking.

Some mother fiery as ambrosia.
Some father quakered and elite.

Some god who could tell me it was time to come out of the woods,
to heal the lie of aloneness — the tripwire pulse of a girl raised by wolves.


The Weave of Tender

We wake, beginning the day
***** with whispers and stories, significant
longing and dizziness. I take this charmed pause
***** as a sign of acquiescence,

the myopia of touch like powder on our fingers,
***** talcum in our hair. We rock gently
toward belonging, becoming gesture and pollen,
***** a tumble of bruise and blessing.

If our bones were chocolate
***** somewhere inside of us
would be grace.

And if I could name the weave of tender,
***** it would be the tremble
of this place.

I dream of lavender and sage, the scents
***** of forgiveness. I rest
in the blue nook of survival,
***** simulate willow,just breath.

It's the habit of not trying
***** too hard to be ourselves.
The stupid daffodils of self
***** turn to weather and seed.

It's the broken spirit's right to joy,
***** days banked against this rhythm,
the twist of love and yearning
***** meeting in the chest.


Undertow

I falter in my ragged heart, the province longing
***** for better things. A church, a steeple,
***** a way to feel the roundness of the wings.
Your hand tumbles into mine,

Jupiter calling for Saturn's rings,
***** and I am the balking, the perpetual orbit.
We live too much in softness, in yellow felt.
***** I want glue, oatpaste. I want a mess.

You promise you will always stand in the wings with evergreens.
***** Just once, you ask me, can you wait.
Can you remember the long neck of your promise.
***** I want to be through with the color blue and all my crying.

I so want to fly, to try Acadian wings.
***** Trundle, trundle, trundie go your footsteps,
asking me back to our land of honey, asking me to stop sewing dizziness
***** into my shirts when you are not looking.

I once saw women doing prostrations in India, bathing in the Ganges,
***** none of them afraid to go under that dirty water.
I remember Buddhists preparing lettuce one tear at a time,
***** balancing their hunger against the aliveness of what they held.

I am turning a rhythm here of promises and contours
***** I''ve hungered after all my life. You are asking me
to consecrate my feet in what holds steady.
***** I do not know how to teach myself such things.

Moonlight goes mad in the churchyard, and no heaven
***** can explain the play of wishes on slate.
I wonder where we are hedging our bets, wonder if,
***** like dark horses, they will come in.