I cycle aimlessly through years, spiraling outward in desolate arcs, whose vacancy swallows all things. Each revolution could outlast me, yet, I follow a fated path, orbit grave matter, circle a hidden object—futile ecliptic. And wait to know my purpose: A winged bird, swift wind, or soaring aria.
If the smallest part of me fractures, it too must conform to the laws of gravity— sure as the wind off the sea, lifting every seed, every berry, drawing each to the center of itself. Everything exists in a holding pattern, every rock, every flower, even midnight’s timid child. Only we—conceited—exempt ourselves; reach beyond, grasping the freedom of empty space, sacrificing wisdom to rise up, treelike and haughty-limbed, while those on the verges rest contentedly with inertial heaviness. But whoever scorns those bounds is suddenly, indescribably alone. Learn from these vestiges to begin again—children entrusting themselves to god, never again to part. Learn again to fall; Held in gravid repose which gathers every remnant back to wholeness—even feathers, loosed in rebellious flight.
It is no surprise—the fury of the storm. A vanguard of mounting thunderheads drive the trees before them. Their flight floods the avenues— a retreat from the wrath, which urges you toward it. Senses charged, you sing its power as you watch at a window. The weeks of summer hesitate and blood, rising in the trees, alters course—returns to the source of all things. You have misunderstood it. As you grasp its fruit, it turns to riddles in your hand, you become a stranger. The summer was a house, all things in their proper place. But you must leave it now— your heart—for uncharted planes. A great isolation begins. Days go numb, your senses windswept— parched as withered grass. Through empty branches, the sky. It is all you have. Be earth and evensong and the ground from which we all rise. Be humble— a thing yielding to the touch, so that he who tended you will know your ripeness and gather you up in the harvest.
Christine Darragh is a hand-bookbinder working and writing from her home studio in Ann Arbor, MI. Her work has previously been published in Structo, Topology, Twyckenham Notes, Typishly and Cloud Women's Quarterly.