I know nothing of cave diving
but I’m an expert at escaping.
& this is all I know. not poetry
so I tell myself, I’ll learn how to write
this poem, but until then I’ll teach
myself how to breathe.
say my body is mine as I am to it.
remember we work in one accord.
we are one & not a collection of parts.
though I forget how a machine works,
how the loosening of a screw can make it
malfunction. I’ve become a builder of things.
my hands stay dirty & my fingers coated
in scorched earth. I learn that everything
has a place, including what has been abandoned.
even a building was a home to someone.
once, I was a house. this thing to be taken care of.
love was carved into the walls & cabinets & carpets
but never the backdoor. I tell myself
there’s nothing out there in the yard
but an exit. sometimes, an escape is
only used by cowards. I wanted to stay
but told myself that leaving isn’t my fault.
how a broken window can make a house
less a home? why am I concerned
of people thinking my house is beautiful
when they don’t live here?
I want to find god. this is why I stopped
writing poetry. I teach myself how to pray
as easy as breathing. oh lord, can I be an offering?
can I be someone worthy of prayer?
the only congregation I have
are the grass & rock under my feet.
do you see how they dance in the wind?
is this breathing? did my lungs hear me say:
this body is mine as I am to it?
had it always been this easy?
be in control by simply being.
this is how I’ll start my poem
by finding home in words unspoken.
tell my tongue: this body is mine
as I am to it. force my teeth to listen.
I’ve always been a cave.
inviting despite the darkness
one enters & can never leave
sometimes, to escape we must go back.
understand fear & how we become afraid.
of it & of everything else.
why is the night the only darkness
to hold stars? is my skin not worthy
of being night? I long forget its beauty.
so I want to find love again. to tare down
all these walls & experience land.
it’s not fair how a home is a place
that can be entered & not a feeling
everywhere at once. sometimes,
to escape is realizing we aren’t caged.
this is how I learn to write this poem
as easy as prayer as easy as breathing
by saying: this body is mine as I am to it
& believing myself.