(poetry by Alicia Jo Rabins)
I can’t tell whether I’m healing myself or breaking myself.
Whether I’m in Ancient Greece or the suburbs of Baltimore.
Whether I’m my grandmother or my five year old daughter.
I no longer think a mother is here to heal her daughter
I think we are all here to heal each other.
And sometimes healing looks like breaking.
And so it was that I came to understand what and who I was.
The rain fell around me on all sides.
Lives blossomed and shriveled, I watched babies grow into old women.
I was myself, and more than myself, all at once.
There were many like me. So many.
What I had was not rare. It was as old as seaweed.
But not all of my sisters knew what they were.
What they carried.
What they knew.
What we knew.
The names beneath our names:
If the cathedral must burn,
Then praise God it burns
Due to human error and not
Human cruelty which is so
Plentiful these days
And maybe always has been.
May I love you in all
Your human error,
May you love me
In mine. Together we make
A cathedral of the simplest
Sunset. We hold each other,
Faces illuminated by the flames.
Because I will
Because I will not
Because I will not despair
Because I will not despair I
Because I will not despair I resist.