Raise your shield
seal the gates
gather your sisters
around you
to wait.

Let the winds howl
watch the waters rise
when the storms rage
we’ll pay them
no mind.

Joan has put away the armor
Iemanja fastened the sluice
Caitlyn will hold up her mirror
and honor you
with your Truth.

Go on, girl: let your hair down.

Mother Maya of the Angels:
shake our stories loose!
Throw our words
like confetti
and we’ll take them to the skies.

We’ll gather the pieces
reassemble their meaning
weave them into the fabric
of We —
you and I.

we speak

we cry

we dance

we rise.

— for The Sedona Tribe (with special honors for Caitlyn Jenner).

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when people ask me

How do you do it?
how do you
again, and
do it

I tell them honestly: I don’t know.

There’s the temptation
to throw out the baby
pull the drain on the tub
and let the water
run free.

What I do know is what I kept:

and its sloppy lover, exhilaration.

And peonies –
can you ever get enough?
how tightly they guard
their dark buds
before bursting open
and spilling across the table
in a gorgeous confusion of
the softest pink.

In the very least, I have always counted on this.