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tea ceremonies

we navigate a wrinkled treasure map
to a place that only exists in partial light,
half thoughts and half whispers.
we have packed our bags full to the brim
with light and love and energy to fix the unfixable,
our bags so full that we might light up the entire village we’re headed to,
if only things ran on courage and hope instead of liquified dinosaur bones.
some days we trudge on like beefed up army guys tip toeing around
in ballet slippers,
in a ridiculous mixture of grace and paternalism.
sometimes we work until the night is old and tired and ready to trade the sun
insistent upon keeping alive a spirit that has already passed us by
and our bones grow weary and our knuckles bleed
from building a shrine to what we cannot fix,
while we dig in our heels to find truths that suit us better than the Truth.
and then one day we see things as they are:
we look over our shoulders and finally see our losses as they hover in the air behind us
like amused ghosts.
But then we remember that we have learned how
how to take care of ourselves and to not pretend to be OK when we’re not, and most importantly to be
good company to ourselves
[our mothers and sisters taught us that, bless them]
and we are sheepish and we cry, but we are also joyful and we weigh less;
we stop asking God, “Am I almost done?”
and we give thanks for being humbled and splash holy water on the ashes of what we mourn
as it’s wheeled away, and realize we no longer need to invoke ‘Parlay!’
we get up from our chairs and stretch our bodies, put on handmade crowns
whispering thank you as we
pack away in boxes the memory of our ghost, sealed with sturdy tape but marked with a note:
“Fragile: do not bend, shake or expose to extreme temperatures.”
Finally, we raise our limbs and lips to the vast possibility of life,
to a sunrise that has replaced the plans we thought we couldn’t live without
[those plans we made and made and made
before a Great Wind came].

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