Untitled by Nyah Malone

She writhed, stricken, on the velvet carpet ground. Like

a naked, dying trout let loose on the deck of a ship. Like

a fly turned earthbound from heatstroke. Like

a freshly bloomed flower torn stem from petal by the ravenous wind.

I wanted to puke, I wanted to die, I wanted to feel whatever might,

whatever hallowed energy made her crash about the room.

I was terrified and maybe that unknown strength would make me strong.

It wasn’t the whispering that made me weep, or the man on the stage

with his hands raised in surrender, in prayer: this is what heaven looks like, he cried.

I sobbed for the ache that grew (and grows) in the bottom of my feet

the ache that makes my fingers tap on the back of the pew

when I’m stood in awe of the porcelain altar.

The ache circulates my whole body to gather behind my eyes

when heaven, in all its glory, is mentioned in song and I remember that

kingdom beyond the clouds. I’m reaching for that light–always reaching–

and sometimes get to touch it with the tips of my

fingers, feel the glow in my palms sink into my toughened skin.

She stands, ever-weary, and rubs her eyes.

She is cleansed, and washed anew, rebirthed, and born again.

She feels alright in this new skin, as she is able to move in the same way she did before.

Incomplete as her arms may look, or as translucent as her skin appears

She feels whole. Maybe she will join her saviors in their golden box and cry out her