Unafraid, Ready, By Radiance Angelina Petro

Unafraid, Ready


Radiance Angelina Petro


Walking through a waist-high field beyond Ypsilanti,

brushing my palms over the whispering grain.  The field ends

at a gray, gravel road between an abandoned train station

and dandelion-decorated tracks.


Unsure how far it goes.  Resolute I will not turn back.

Passing rusted, graffiti-swirled husks of train cars,

I know I’m being watched from somewhere by someone(s),

and I am unafraid.  My jean-jacket flutters a little in the thin-

aired summer wind.


A gray grasshopper helicopters from out of nowhere and lands

some distance ahead.  It blends so well with the road it disappears.

As I near, it suddenly lifts in a whir of black-speckled wings, turns, banks,

and again, lands in the road aways.  This time, I follow it with my eyes.

I can’t help–and don’t care if I can’t help–wondering.


Barred ticket windows, signs saying keep away from the tracks,

do not pass the yellow line; a stopped clock, stock tracks

with forever locked switches.


The grasshopper rubs its hind legs, readying to catapult itself

into the air.  I drop my jacket, take off my t-shirt, unafraid,

and wings emerge from my shoulder blades—

unfolding, veined, transparent, fanning open, parting, thrumming,





Fading, By Radiance Angelina Petro



Radiance Angelina Petro



Windchimes ring, giving tones to the day,

which gradually return to the wind, and disappear

into the sky.


A couple yards over, someone mows the lawn,

and the deep, low whirr becomes summer for a few

drifting moments, and then, shuts off, and the sound

lingers briefly in the trees, with the scent of freshly cut grass,

where they both gradually disappear into the sky.


My voice blends with my guitar, singing my heart

to my aloes and spider plants, and the books of poetry

across the room, only to float away, gradually disappearing

into the tables and chairs and kettles.


I will stop speaking one day, and the sounds of my last words

will lift to the ceiling and shimmer through the window shades

and out, called, to who knows where.


We all spill gradually into our lives, and leave them

the same way—emptying into time, and perhaps

to reassemble, in a way, into someone’s memory,

until we gradually fade from there too, fading with their fading,

absorbed by the great silence, disappearing, gradually,

into the sky.



Embrace, by Radiance Angelina Petro



Radiance Angelina Petro



We cannot know

what we do not know

until we know it, and once

we do, we know what we didn’t

know before.  And that


is good information for those times

when we’re talking with someone

who doesn’t know what they don’t know.


Compassion works

because no one knows exactly

the pain of another, but

we do know pain when

we see it, and that

should be enough

to meet one another

and embrace.


Empathy works

because no one truly

understands themselves

or the other, and so

when we catch a glimpse



of the synergistic universe

in the eyes of another,

that should be enough

to meet one another half-way,

and embrace.


We can all know, however,

whether we remember it or not,

that breathing helps

this liminal thing called living

to continue, and that

there is enough air for everyone,

and all breaths embrace

every other breath,

so we may as well embrace

in the same, weaving way.


We can also know our hearts

beat whether we think about it

or not, and everyone’s heart

beats together whether we like it

or not, and that one rhythm



an earth-knowing,

a season-knowing,

a sky-knowing,

a love-knowing



And so, we may as well

embrace, and this time, why not

spin that embrace into a dance

that none of us really knows

how to dance?


Dance the dance

of the unknown together,

knowing the one thing

we all want to forget:


the dance will end.

And that particular bit

of perhaps difficult knowing

should be enough

to make us embrace,

and hold on for dear life.