Everything is about loss
and suddenly, I was swimming
circling a void of absences and presences
tethered to what I loved  

Grief settles in the root of the stomach
If only I could step through
this place, this room of shadows
glimpse what lies beneath, behind, beyond  

Unstitch the secret sewn
to the underside of your tongue
a constellation of absences
like unclasped necklaces  

Embody opposites
A heart must believe
in the announcement of names
believe in lament and exaltation  

Peel back the hinges
of patience, draw a map
that starts in connection points
a scaffold living inside us  

Love permeability
learn to glow
the way pink petals open
unhinging, filling with bodies of stars  

~ Cento composed of lines from Shannon K. Winston’s poetry collection The Girl Who Talked to Paintings, Felicia Zamora’s I Always Carry My Bones, and Emily Rose Cole’s Thunderhead