They spoke to me in tongues I could not divine.
I must have known them to be sacred and caught myself still straining to hear their whispers in the night.
Was it comfort or terror that would meet me there?
Or perhaps it was the sound of my own voice rasping back, waiting for an answer from the heavens.
God was a hidden word now. And I kept it safe in my back pocket, waiting for it to make a resurrection of sorts or to feel like home again—if it ever was one to begin with.
For a long time, I seemed to be a borderland for things known to be holy.
There were only questions here.
Who holds the gate open? And what words must we encant to keep them hospitable?
I couldn’t say that this pain was not mine. Only that some of us do not even know what name to call it. With the lack of words, my mouth becomes that of an animal. I become the wolf again, the curve of my spine more weary than defiant.
The questions are double edged and sometimes are captors, sometimes lend salvation. We live in that middle space, never knowing what will come next.
Was it defiance or a lack of choices that forms the ground I stand upon?
In lieu of shelter, I seek the comfort of poetry that is not my own. How sweet is the history remembered through another’s tongue? Not very. But it keeps me company in the dead of night.
But what would become of us there but strangers? Yes, good. And so for a moment I am free of myself. The flames lick against a darkness that is indiscriminate—and therefore forgiving.
Sometimes uncertainty breeds uncertainty. It also allows the safety of not needing to know. Oh, and always it is the stuff of beginnings.
Creation begets its own sorry substance. From our ruinous pasts, we create ourselves.
So, really, uncertainty is a necessary ingredient for any form of discovery, of the self or otherwise.
I may not know what it is to be holy, but I do know what it is to be real.
When I am full of terror I forget this.