The opposite of sanctitude is not mortality, not fleeting life,
not burning pyre. Not anything, really, not metal-blue mouth &
not prayers you intend on keeping. Once, I was
grounded, how horrible & haunting it was. Once, I
was a wound sucking & oozing, a disaster of
occurrence. Is it still a cliché if I beg to be godlike,
whet my hunger on gold & marble? I as divine. I
as miracle. I as songbird. I have forgotten how to
be immortal. & fine, maybe the ichor isn’t mine to
bleed, but I can bring the sun over the horizon, can
translate pain into power. I could punch a god
& still come out swinging. This gilded divinity
wasn’t mine to inhabit, but all my veins are
painted by Midas. I can be bird, be butterfly, be
winged & furious. The world tries to stomp
out my magic. I steal it back.
Amy M. Jarvis considers being a writer from New England her entire personality. She is the returning recipient of the Janet C. Weis Prize for Literary Excellence. When she’s not writing, she’s lakeside, both physically and spiritually. She’s a poet, a lover of light, and a hopeless romantic, although not necessarily in that order.
Illustration by C.B. Auder.
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