Here, we measure the heat in
clammy hands and strawberries.
Under the shade,
I reach for something high,
something gone,
and show the world my navel.
You traveled deserts for this well.
You threw penny kisses in it,
listened for the plunk.
Here, we measure the heat in
warm breath and whispers.

Here, we listen for the sound of
shared popsicles and leaving trains
and learn to follow that.
Under the shade,
I reach for something low,
something grassy and damp
and let you see my knees groveling,
my hands soil-searching.
You watched me bend for you.
You let me become beggar for you,
become dirt and drivel for you.
Here, we measure the heat in
how many cold shoulders we learned
to leave behind, how many winters
we have learned to un-miss.

— "June", Ramna Safeer

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Leave the dishes.
Let the celery rot in the bottom drawer of the refrigerator
and an earthen scum harden on the kitchen floor.
Leave the black crumbs in the bottom of the toaster.
Throw the cracked bowl out and don’t patch the cup.
Don’t patch anything. Don’t mend. Buy safety pins.
Don’t even sew on a button.
Let the wind have its way, then the earth
that invades as dust and then the dead
foaming up in gray rolls underneath the couch.
Talk to them. Tell them they are welcome.
Don’t keep all the pieces of the puzzles
or the doll’s tiny shoes in pairs, don’t worry
who uses whose toothbrush or if anything
matches, at all.
Except one word to another. Or a thought.
Pursue the authentic — decide first
what is authentic,
then go after it with all your heart.
Your heart, that place
you don’t even think of cleaning out.
That closet stuffed with savage mementos.
Don’t sort the paper clips from screws from saved baby teeth
or worry if we’re all eating cereal for dinner
again. Don’t answer the telephone, ever,
or weep over anything at all that breaks.
Pink molds will grow within those sealed cartons
in the refrigerator. Accept new forms of life
and talk to the dead
who drift in though the screened windows, who collect
patiently on the tops of food jars and books.
Recycle the mail, don’t read it, don’t read anything
except what destroys
the insulation between yourself and your experience
or what pulls down or what strikes at or what shatters
this ruse you call necessity.

— Louise Erdrich, Original Fire: Advice To Myself

(Source: violentwavesofemotion)

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I begin to wish for firelight, privacy, and the limbs of one person.

— Virginia Woolf, The Waves

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There is no better.

Only (for a short space)
the night sky like
a quarantine that sets you
apart from your task.

Only (softly, fiercely)
the stars shining. Here,
in the room, in the bedroom.
Saying I was brave, I resisted,
I set myself on fire.

— Louise Glück, “Stars”

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