They remember

cloud-watcher
eyes skimming sky
plant-tender
body bearing water
the world is on fire, again
and they are learning to pendulate
learning to trust their senses

they remember
how good they were at pretending, until,
dysfunction, illness, the prospect of death
awakened their senses
to the need to get out
they remember why they stayed
they remember the leaving
the pain of the losses, unfathomable
years, soaked in tears
heart bleeding rivers
their mind and body detoxing
from lies, false hope and rage
they remember the fear
of provocation
how they moved their body
in the presence of men
how they chose their words
how they shielded their heart
learned to avert their eyes

they eat roots and drink moon water
they light candles at dusk
and sit before the altar, transformed
with questions in mind
curiosity in heart
the sensation and scent of lovers still in their skin

*if you are viewing this on a smartphone, line breaks may not be accurate and this may impact your reading experience*