We Began with Kisses, by Radiance Angelina Petro

We Began with Kisses
Radiance Angelina Petro


This poem takes place on an open-minded day.
A day full of no longer and not yet,
of sassafras trees, of the bobber going down,
the wind’s liaisons with cornfields, the imagination
spread every which way, of time maintained
in the redwood’s branches, of the afternoon’s heyday,
and the many modifications of optimism—little by little
we spin ourselves into cocoons as we change
the four-fold truths revolving around suffering
into joy’s well-founded proposals and sighs.







Writing in the Dark, by Radiance Angelina Petro

Writing in the Dark
Radiance Angelina Petro


Contrary to popular belief, the pages
in your book of life are not numbered. There are, however,
reckonings, and many parenthetical days. And while the writing
is sometimes Joycean, filled with commas and question marks,
run-on sentences with so many reiterated moments,
it is serviceable and somehow legible
after the fact. There are moths nibbling the previous
chapters, and the abiding wind is always
flipping through the pages losing your place,
so be sure to keep your book in a safe, dry place.
Your propensity for nouns is to be expected,
your verbs, strident and agile, are often also nouns,
and as much as you would like to believe otherwise,
there are no errors—neither to the imagination
or the days when you ignore the margins.
The wolf and the deer running throughout do so
on moral grounds. The horizon is far-minded, time
ephemeral. Don’t even ask about grammar or tenses.
When you go, the world will keep writing
your story. In lieu of this, meander more, study
the pedagogy of caterpillars and butterflies, dabble
in novel things, use as many flourishes
as you want, use inhabited initials at the beginnings
of paragraphs, secretly write under your blanket
at night. You are, after all, heliocentric,
giving just enough light to write in the dark.







At the Edge of the Field, by Radiance Angelina Petro

At the Edge of the Field
Radiance Angelina Petro


The broadminded morning slowly sips
the last of the night. The eye in the forehead
is flaxen gold. Left-over masala dosa for breakfast
is like eating truth.

Today is honeycombed
and smitten with flowers—the purple iris,
the morning glories, the tiger lilies.

When your mind tries to finagle in notions
of why you don’t deserve such beauty,
the freewheeling wind says: “You are part
of the sweetness. Enjoy your breakfast.”

Imagination is out sightseeing,
the willow lollygags in the sun,
the blue-eyed day, the quizzical robin,
the wolf, the deer—they’re all waiting for you
at the edge of field.







Let the Resonance Fall, by Radiance Angelina Petro

Let the Resonance Fall
Radiance Angelina Petro


After showering, shaving,
I get right to poetry.

Running parallel to bridges,
connecting tones near and far,

beyond question my magnetic-
imagination. My whole body full

of sound. I’ve observed myself
for weeks. There is nothing trifling in what comes.

I must try to catch reflections,
transpose light as the Muse sees fit.

There is an eternal vibrato, tremulous,
holy, flowing in all things, like

notes from a low clarinet, always
beginning. I want to know everything in the world–

always beginning, the pen moves. All that is
necessary is to let the resonance fall.






It’s Possible, by Radiance Angelina Petro

It’s Possible
Radiance Angelina Petro


Turn a little to the side, one will always—
almost always appear, nearly touching–
a whale moving through the air– staring with time’s eyes.

It’s possible. Along the narrow edges
of the mind it’s possible. It can be said—
up to a point, but is well to consider the necessary

straight lines that turn into circles. Why
explain why? It cannot be done anyhow.
There’s a whale floating beside you.

In the yard next to me, one sunflower
nods its head more than the others. I agree,
climb atop the whale, remembering

my body, as we streamline through the sky,
steering towards a story that guides us.
It’s possible. It’s all possible.






Ready-Lines, by Radiance Angelina Petro

Radiance Angelina Petro


Sometimes, silent or singing, we fall inside
to so many realizations of the beautiful.
Our spirits grow, like roots—more horizontal
than vertical.

The deliberate plans for tomorrow,
your voice finding tones in the air.

Sunlight pulls flower-petals into shape, like
a child playing with beeswax,
the moon makes sure roots have water,
worms have their own work to do.

Remember, after you fall inside go back out,
invite others into your life, and hope
they invite you into theirs.

The tailor has already chalked blue ready-lines
in the fabric of your life, now you
make the dress best-fitted to dance.






We’re the Ones, by Radiance Angelina Petro

We’re the Ones
Radiance Angelina Petro


Ghosts are always looking
for people. Our senses
pull us awake. There are streams
we will never see, flowing

The matter-of-fact wind, the silver linings
we carry in our pockets. It’s up to us
to step from the folds of the night,
leaving shadows guessing.

We’re the ones walking through char
and ash. We’re the ones filling churches
with singing. We’re the ones waking up
every day saying: “Impossible
isn’t a word the morning knows.”





Breaking Open, by Radiance Angelina Petro

Breaking Open
Radiance Angelina Petro


Water the young trees, morning is never
falsely promised. Buddha started out as a fly,
and one day said: “Shine forth, and ignite.”
Who knows if the dying patient is resting comfortably?
What if seeds never asked to break open?
What if they fight it tooth and nail to the bitter end?
Who actually wants to fall into a thousand pieces?
Let’s come together and share each other’s sorrows.
Your fear is my fear. There are so many
wars to fight, so many unread stories shaped, like trees,
so many possibilities to serve one another.
Let’s break open into each other’s arms,
our souls vigorous as always, and say:
“Shine forth, and ignite.”