By That I Mean, Praise, By Jennifer Angelina Petro

By That I Mean, Praise

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

Take the time to look,

With all reverence and wonder,

At the elegant curling folds of the purple iris,

Or its perfectly formed concave inner trinity,

Or at the yellow daffodils

Declaring spring from their ruffled trumpets,

Or at the cherry blossom petals

Snowing into the wind—

 

Every curl, every trumpet, every petal

Is different from all the rest.

 

Exalt the vastness of variety.

Why limit the god of possibilities?

What exactly are you afraid of?

 

At least try to study—and by that, I mean

Praise—

How each and every buttercup

Holds a different piece of the sun,

How each and every helicopter seed

Whirling from the maple tree

Has its own fingerprint,

How each and every pink dogwood blossom

Looks like a different pink nun lying on her back

Singing to the blue mantle of the sky.

 

If you won’t invest the time, then do not

Try and take away the dignity of differences

And sweep them under the rug of easy things to say.

 

Nearly all the violence in the world

Stems from the delusion that sameness

Is the goal, that sameness is somehow

Ordained by the almighty, that somehow,

Sameness means complete security,

That somehow sameness brings calm.

 

Yes, if we cut each other on the hand

We both bleed red.  Look into my eyes

Before you draw the blade across my skin.

If you truly saw yourself then you would put the blade away.

 

These bodies, these genders, these multiplicities

Of singing voices, are not a threat

To your whiteness or religion—

They are revelations of a power so great,

So vast, that it gave birth even to you.

Stand firmly in your faith–trust the providence of your god,

For we are here—this endless field of wild flowers—

Swaying in the sun, we are here announcing

The god beyond the books, we are here

Proclaiming the glory of medley, we are here

To enunciate the one root holding us all together—

The one root of the right, and the majesty

To exist in this boundless, unending hymn of praise.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We all bleed.  We all die.

We all are born.


I Don’t Know How I Know This, By Jennifer Angelina Petro

I Don’t Know How I Know This

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

Inside the uplift of death—that moment–

When the white doors open

You will fly out of yourself long enough

To fly back into yourself in one terrible

And freeing inhaling exhale.

Daffodils lose their vibrant trumpets

To the sunlight, irises curl in on themselves

And alliums drop their radiating, purple petals to the ground.

Cherry blossoms scatter their thousand, million pink pieces

Of exquisite beauty into a spring wind that rouses

The mind to start moving on those plans laid out in winter,

And you cannot help but stare, and weep with such joy the moment

Uplifts and white doors open, and you fly into yourself

Long enough to fly back out yourself in one orgasmic,

Eternal—breath-catching inhaling exhale.

And when the sidewalks become dusted

In deep pink—so much so you cannot see the gray ground—

White doors open and you fly out of yourself long enough

To never return to the state of unnoticing.

Every moment we build up and break down,

We dissolve, we sag closer to the earth,

Our muscles loosen, our jaws slacken,

And we become like fragile, spring birds long enough

To breathe into ourselves, long enough

To exhale one last time into the air—

Just strong enough to blow open the white doors

And get swept up into the uplift where all the trumpeting

Daffodils wait, where all the irises unfurl

Their sex to the sky, where all the alliums burst

Purple bulbs from their tall, slender stalks, like

Slow motion fireworks—

There you will stay long enough

To bloom the fragrance

Of a life well lived into the ever spring

Of God.