Joseph Anthony Petro
You have broken my heart again.
I see your staccato signals,
I know you are rogue stars
Who let go of their moorings and escaped.
Oh how I long to be like you.
I know caterpillars dissolve
Into a hiding place of their own making.
I know all about that.
What I don’t know is: do they have faith in wings?
Do they believe they carry within themselves
A drop of air waiting to be freed?
I see flowers blooming at night,
I see the pink and purple sunsets
That were hiding all day behind the blue.
I know it is the coming darkness
Combined with dust and the disappearing sun
That makes the watercolor skies.
I hope when I am free of this cage—
When I am not beholden to what anyone thinks or says
Or what the mirror has been telling me
All these years—I hope I will shine, like
A galaxy of fireflies on a hot summer night,
I hope I will dance among the flowers—
Wings fluttering flamboyantly, baptized
By the clear, open light of day.
I hope when the stars of truth separate
From the backdrop void of lies
That I will find a place among the trees
And dazzle the world.
Joseph Anthony Petro
The longer I live, the more I realize flamboyant pink flamingoes
Splash in the shallow, blue water of my being.
The more I move the more I sense my bones house a marrow of light.
Somewhere in my cells and those elegant strands of DNA,
The sun, the moon, and all the stars in between weave
Into one rippling tapestry of aliveness.
The more I breathe with my whole body the more I wash my hands
Of the tiresome dualities and ever-expanding binaries.
The more I take mischievous delight in skirting the margins and bathing
In a spectrum of sensual possibilities, the more I dance with recherché impulses
And experience in between spaces opening like songs on which I can ride, like
Magic carpets, and be lifted to liberated places.
The more I participate in the unclouded awareness of sheer potential,
Where authenticity breeds and freedom spirals in satins and silks,
The more I dream of angels who embrace me and whisper in my ear:
“It’s not too late. Come. There are many of us.
Glide while walking home.”
In Your Own Time
By Joseph Anthony Petro
In the shadow of trees
The owl glides over the moonlit marsh, like a dream.
Fireflies drift into shadow-dappled fields, like
A slow carnival of stars.
Bats break free from the shadow-shawled branches, like
Pieces of darkness fluttering through the sky.
It is alright to live in the shadows.
Candles and gold are brightest there.
It is also alright—more than alright-
To burst forth from the shadows, like
Morning through the trees,
To climb over riverbanks and spread over the shore
Perfectly imperfect—loving the shadows
For who they are, knowing their purpose is pure
As midnight, pure as cricket song, pure
As the talons of the owl as it blossoms from the darkness
And descends, joyously, full of hunger,
Towards the object of her desire.
It is alright—it is more than alright
To be who and what you are—
No matter the shadows, no matter the light—
The fields of the world
Await the beating of your wings.