I emerge from a room of candles and coconut oil, my body
no longer mine, but covered with lilac layers
of saliva and ripened sweat.
I am pink stone dissolved in olives,
the kind of color that trembles, a glass of chianti, the wine
in my hand touched by other hands that also touch earthly things.
Under my feet the breath of ancient nations and every size and shape
of mushroom on my tongue, a blessing for the overtures of my body
and its beauty and where it leads me. I opened my whole life to find
this quintessence of the sacred and the senseless. Still
the crows cross this road on orange feet,
at night a blue fire burns over the city.
The grass darkened still bends to the wind,
and I will find the desert at the end of a road I know by heart.
**title a line from Emily Dickinson’s I heard a Fly buzz (465)
last line from poet Joanna Chen