Cheryl Pallant


I do not want to be a collector of bodies. I do not want to wipe blood from the brow and write to a beloved
who will curse my words. I do not want to pile the livid and lost and shake loose unused change from
pockets. I do not want to gather courage like scant kindling for a camp.

I do not want to bear the burden. I do not want to know who was carrying a child. I do not want to walk a
bombed and burned earth. I do not want to be accused of neglect nor be put on trial. I do not want to
separate words in a river from tears.

I re-embody disowned land and flesh. I light and lust to tender hearts and stack stones that lead to next
door. I keep watch not in fear of an enemy arriving but to meet the revel of a friend. I see brown and blue
and white and black as drops in the sea and rivulets to quench thirst.

I carry stories of bones and kneel in song. Secrets shared and silence respected set trajectories in motion like
shooting stars. I want solutions pondered and desires gathered in dance.

I filter all languages of despair into a resilient splash. I witness leaps of faith as a quiet voice. What remains
of the day serves as refuge for taste, swallow, and touch. Crack yourself open. Brush off the rubble as beasts
we can and cross the border to feast on thrive.

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