Monday 22 March 2021

Two Poems by Maisie Russel

 



I Went to the Temple Last Sunday


I went

to the Temple

last Sunday

 

The temple was moved by an earthquake with the saints standing in disco sentimentality. I’m not supposed to tell you what that means. It had something to do with the good, the heroic, the worth-full, in indestructible grace. All things we have no idea about.

 

The glass windows raved on every heel that would bless them with any sacrifice. Only scars were allowed. You’re not hurting enough because you never cry. I was only trying to avoid the black Roman tiles who called on thunder.

 

The aisle of believers made a mountain out of their bones. They thought they could have a wish if they broke themselves. I don’t know who gave them that idea. Some were kneeling with their hands clasped lock, perpetually imploring for mercy. Were they praying to die or were they praying so they won’t?

 

While walking among the ruins, there was a time I thought I might never see you again. The smoke was too thick, the dust rained on, and the earth opened itself in welcoming— waiting for me. I’m not supposed to tell you what that means.

 

I suppose it had everything to do with the worst. Of things we know all too well. But worth is inconsequential; that you could be in a billion scattered pieces. And yet still be loved.

 

That

is something I want you

to know the meaning of



Northeaster

 

who’s to say we’re not meant to be

midnight becomings of the waves on

suicidal rocks by the shore at the time

when no one is awake except the

moon to bear witness to what pain

does to people no we blame it on pain

that’s easier yes even when the crows

croak of lullabies from the book of

the dead in preservation of your life

you choose to relish in all the hurt of

the world but my love who’s to say

we’re not meant to heal each other’s

emptiness slowly filling it with things

more than love things we never knew

things we never saw before never felt

before step on closer to the fault line

let your toes be touched by the sea

you won’t be swallowed alive

dragged to the depths swept away in some

misery-eating current don’t hold your

heart all on one hand if only you see

what the holy sands see

how the world is blessed by your footprints

who’s to say that i shouldn’t write

lyrical truths of the things you don’t

realize when these are the only things

keeping me holding me when the

wind tries to carry us apart only to

bloom in concretes and in the harsh

arctic and again the skies will bear

witness to the wider tapestry of the

universe that what is you is me and

wherever i am there you will be so

who’s to say we were not meant to be

born with the sun as it kisses the sea


Maisie Russel is a poet based in the middle east. As a third-culture kid, poetry is her avenue of exploration and understanding. Inspired by classical prose and modern poetry, her works usually revolve around the nature of connections and our relationships – human to human, human to nature, and human to a higher being.

 


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