Transformation May 3, 2010

It could be the letter never answered,

the one in which you declared your love

in such a tender way, admitting to every-

thing. Or when the shell you brought all

the way from the Philippines is dropped

by some loud stranger you never wanted

to show it to in the first place. It could all

unravel the moment the shell shatters on

your floor. Or on a summer bench, your

eyes closed, your fear about to vanish, the

heat bathing you as bees begin to fly.

It could happen anywhere you linger

too long, anywhere you stop hauling and

counting, when your mind spills its tangle

of lists. Often it comes with the relaxation

of great pain. When the hip finally mends

enough to step. Or your need to know

is broken by a bird lifting into light.

Or when succeeding in being something

you’re not. Being influential when you’re

shy. Or rugged when you’re tender.

Or while watching an old tree slip into

winter, like the one thing you won’t let

go of dropping all its leaves.

When the elements in all their beauty

reshape our eyes, it is God’s kiss: gentle

as erosion. When you could crumble in

an instant—all your pain, salt waiting

for a wave—you are close.

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