vancouver island-based author and artist

(untitled)

with the return of the rain comes the return of a part of myself i can’t quite put my finger on.
it goes by many names,
and forms,
it sounds and looks ever-nondescript and
had i not drawn attention to it being gone
i never would’ve known it was missing
at all.
it’s nothing and yet
it
is
wholeness.
an essential part of myself.

i’ve never once believed in coincidences.
not as a child when no adult had time for my inexperience and
no child had the experience for my maturity.
not throughout the majority of my life
existing painstakingly
through drab, thirsty days
turned years
doing what i thought i was supposed to do
by everyone else’s schedule
always too late and too busy doing
everything
in a world where connections
struggled
to be made.
and not now
after nine months of living on an island
a floating bed of quartz
where people come to heal
and discover
that everyone
is crazy.
certainly not now
after nine months of living in a lush and liberal microcosm where
everything
is connected
to everything.
it is not a coincidence
that the rain returned
on the same day my menses did after nearly
three years without it.
synthetic hormones have made for
convenience
at the cost
of an essential part of myself.

i have lost touch
with what womanhood feels like
just like this summer
this re-working of my life
into a predictable grind
boiled down
my creativity
into frustration.
all these ups and downs
left me doubting
i could make anything of myself worth keeping.
it made me forget how magical
those nights in the hemingway cabin were
the rain pounding on the tin roof overhead
the way poetry moved out of me like
sweat
tears
blood
if all my systems worked
properly.
the way i trained myself out of fear
of the night
of sounds
of quiet
the fear which paralyzed me
that made me afraid of cities and love
of being touched and daring
to leave more than a fingerprint
behind
no matter how many traces of myself
i left in hotel rooms
and next to bunk beds.
always alone.
I’ve only ever felt lost
next to people
isolated in swarms
of crowds
but alone
I’ve always felt whole.

hairline needles
sucking life from dried-out lakes
gently nudging elbow rivers
to stir
then crawl
then walk
then run
from my limb to limb.
freeflow.
wholeness
comes
in drops.
stained with blood and aching
and fear
and worry
and finally
clarity.
my time here is ending.
i will migrate from one rented space to another
and my home
will change shape
occupying space in my mind and daytimer
with the things I’m supposed to do
on my own schedule
in tune with my body’s clock.
I’ll leave more than a fingerprint behind where i lay
even if the ocean tide
washes it away
nine months
was just long enough
for my fragile, infantile soul to stay.

with the return of the rain comes the return of
an essential part of myself.
the part of me
who was
brave enough to leave the rat race,
intuitive enough to gravitate
toward a floating bed of quartz,
bold enough to find a place to live here,
and crazy enough
to stay.
it is nothing
and it is wholeness
the life-raft on which
I'll float away.

© Mary dela Torre, 2017

poetryMary