Turning In, by Jennifer Angelina Petro

Turning In


Jennifer Angelina Petro





At night, when our bodies

Begin to slow down, and our eyelids

Become heavy, we turn in,

And our attention

Recedes from the senses,

And we move into ourselves and dream.

And we all know dreaming

Is just the soul saying what it wanted

During the day but couldn’t,

And as we are drawn inwards,

And our breathing drifts like it was meant to,

And we rescind control over our bodies,

And our lips part and our palms open,

And our arms go this way and that,

We begin catching z’s—the buzz

Of fluorescent lights becomes the buzz of bees

Making honey out of our disappointments,

The hum of the fan of our laptops

Becomes the hush of owl’s wings,

And we yield like this every day–

Every day we relinquish the tenuous hold

We have on our lives and surrender

To the darkness living within us—

The selfsame darkness that holds the voice of desire–

Speaking like a lighthouse to approaching ships,

Speaking like the hummingbird daring us

To try and follow where it goes,

Speaking like moonlight on the river,

Speaking like our soul bowing down before us

Aching for us to listen.









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Joseph Anthony Petro

The thing is
No one believes me.
How the fireflies dazzled their way
To my back screen door, like
A galaxy spiraling towards me.
No one believes their light
Became so strong, so blinding
It simply crossed the threshold
Into my kitchen, gathered me up
In its arms, and lifted me outside
Into the night, and upwards, passed the trees,
Higher, into the clouds of moonlit angel hair,
And higher, to the stars,
Where suddenly it let me go
And still I kept rising, and the mass of fireflies sang—
(I didn’t know fireflies sang),
And I rose to their shimmering chorus up,
Up until the moon grabbed me out of the sky
And swirled me over and over in her jet black hair
As a spider tumbles a fly in a web,
And I laughed as she spun me, for her hair
Was soft as wind, and she sang like the fireflies
An uncluttered lullaby—pure, incandescent, like
Rays of sunlight beaming through a morning forest,
And the more she wove, the more I could breathe,
And her song bathed around me every bit
As softly as her hair, and when she finished,
And I had tumbled one last time
I found myself drifting to sleep in her satin shrouded arms,
And somewhere nearby I could see
The fireflies forming a ring around us,
Encircling us in diamonds and glittering sapphires,
And I could feel her chest rise and fall
As she too began to sleep,
And the dreams we had that night
Were unlike any I have ever had.
To say they were resplendent
Would be putting it mildly—they were dreams
Of pure, radiant light—my mind and soul blazed
With brilliance, sang with silver, rang with bells
Of crystal, and I knew things—answers
To things—questions exploded like fireworks
And then drizzled towards me like
Ribbons of fireflies—because they were fireflies—
Each and every one of my questions was a firefly,
Every one of the answers was too,
And I knew right then and there,
Asleep in the arms of the moon,
Guarded by a legion of fireflies,
That the world, no matter how dark,
No matter how light, was made of light–
Light brighter than we could ever imagine, light
That made the darkness darker so as to illuminate
The way for angels carrying candles, light
That made the sun seem playfully small,
Light that made my problems and their solutions become bubbles of dew,
And everything, everyone was the chosen one,
Every atom, cell, strand of dancing DNA
Was chosen, and lit up from within
With a heavenly darkness,
And loved beyond measure,
Loved beyond fear, loved beyond doubt,
Loved beyond the wildest passions
One could ever hope for—loved beyond belief.
I knew these things asleep in the arms of the moon.
And when I woke I was in my bed,
And when I stood I stumbled,
And when I stumbled I stayed on my knees
And thanked the moon, the fireflies, the stars,
And when I rose to go tell the world
How the answers and the questions—how
Your heart and my heart, your body and my body, your soul
And my soul, your mind and my mind, are all made of light,
How we are all chosen, how we are all known,
And that the way to letting your light shine
Is to go, go through the darkness,
Go through the darkness
Until you sleep in the arms of the moon, like
A baby–when I rose to tell the world
I heard you say, what good will it do?
It’s not about good, I replied. It’s about knowing
That somehow, someway we are all OK,
We are all light destined for light, to hatch into light.
So right now, in this place, in this moment in time and space,
Take my hand, and rejoice, and go, I said,
Go into the darkness—
Run, stumble as I did, stumble for years if you have to, just go,
I will be by your side. Go until you see them—
Angels carrying candles, fireflies lanterning the path,
The moon opening her arms. Go.
Go and be loved by light swaddled in darkness until your own self-love
Dawns like a summer morning in the night of your self-hate.
I know. You’re right. I was wrong about what I said
At the beginning. I know you believe me.