Faith Like a Phoenix

Written by: Hana Ryusaka

Sometimes I just feel picture-perfect

like flowers that stay blue 

even if they can't reflect the ocean.

and I want to serenade the firmament

and resound myself to the air with silence like growing,

and sink tendrils, feasting off the sun in whisper-spirals of

photosynthesis and simple love like 

eyelash to eyelash.


When you're small, spinning 

around in circles feels like magic, with 

wind webbing your fingers and flowers in your hair,

wild as anarchy over your unfurled shoulder-blades.

Tears don't always mean sadness

when you find them on your nose and realize it's 

storm-song brushing your soul.


This time I was running under cathedral-clouds

draped in sistine light on the edges, and curling.

Sorrow and love are always spat through each other, 

until they spark, flinting through my waterlogged eyes.

I just saw myself in a mirror and turned it inside-out 

and around to escape me. 


Does ugly under rain become beautiful?


What I see in puddles doesn't hurt me, 

but I still like to shatter them, see-through

pottery running on my legs and then I slip

until my jeans are soaked with everything but blood.


I am anything but simple.

Rain is anything but cleansing.

Faith is anywhere but here, where I need it most.


I lift my chin and sing to the sky that offers no

release and no recompense, hoarse

and battered, and interrupted as I am by the weather. 

Because sometimes

picture-perfect doesn't fit me. Sometimes

drenched hoodies, sodden denim, pale

melancholy faces up-turned and 

chains around my ankles rising 

from the star-spattered dust like a phoenix 

define my existence.