Tender

Tender,
Earth calls
asking us to pay attention.
Will we remember
how precious our breath
if, even if,
the fires calm down and the viruses pass?

Tonight I will be warm,
safely entangled with only my cat creature, knowing I will have food in the morning and ways to make art all the days I choose.
I recognize the immensity of this gift, that should be a right, that should be so normal as to need remembering only in the daily prayers of gratitude,
not the prayers we make when something is missing, when desperation the only food we know, that makes only more of itself.
Can we let every relatively easy breath be a doorway to truth?
Can we hold the paradox of preparation free of panic, the complexity of trust free of complacency,
remember sacredness without scarcity,
and preciousness without possessiveness?
Oh, these precarious, perilous times.

Tender,
I wash these hands
I touch warm fur
I hold color and keys
I dream of skin that will not transmit illness,
and the warm embrace of shared breath,
for now, I find it in the skin of drum
the breath of sky,
the pixels of a beloved face brought into focus across miles and quarantines,
the fire held safely in wax and wick and distance

Tender,
I will keep yearning for you,
across the space that protects us,
reaching for you beyond the stories that wound us,
loving this life beyond the fears that haunt us,
treasuring the future memory of your warm arms,
even as I carefully wash my hands.

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© 2018 by Medicinal Poetry