Baptism

Baptism

by Anne Malin Ringwalt

This is how you fall sideways into the Earth, feel eyes drift closed, dirt caressing tired bones.

Let the myriad of lights run around your body, gently pull your shoulders down, the recline of a face, the tilt of a jawline, the deep inhale, body limp, floating Chopin. Suddenly

graceful.

Dipped long coils in holy water
feed the lake your drooling Earth, baptism
a prayer, massive wolf howl.

This is how you give yourself over to the elements.

Teach your eyes to echo the outturned palms of intimacy, your toes the teamwork of pointed feet

leap

fingers on piano keys and adolescent adoration.

Rave on
go limp
go wild.

Noiselessly a downpour of chilling childhood
rolling off your skin
one day we too shall forget this
on the surface of new.
Feel the syllables of temper tantrums, confessions
sin and redemption
sustain your revolutionized head

release

when you sleep
taste pine
and pining
eyelashes descend like a curtain of prancing deer that veil skin.

Unclenched jaw. The hold of a lovely body.

You are the listener, eye-opener, guardian of tended and untended spirits
limb and soul stretcher.

Tongue twister.

They say in church to light your hearts on fire and you agree with everything but that
so nestled in arms you might start other fires
maybe love, maybe burnt clothes
ashes on moss.

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