Winter Solstice, by JODY ALIESAN


Thinking only makes the heart sore.

I Ching

when you startle awake in the dark morning

heart pounding breathing fast

sitting bold upright staring into

dark whirlpool black hole

feeling its suction

get out of bed

knock at the door of your nearest friend

ask to lie down beside ask to be held

listen while whispered words

turn the hole into deep night sky

stars close together

winter moon rising over white fields

nearby wren rustling dry leaves

distant owl echoing

two people walking up the road laughing

let your soul laugh

let your heart sigh out

that long held breath so hollow in your stomach

so swollen in your throat

already light is returning pairs of wings

lift softly off your eyelids one by one

each feathered edge clearer between you

and the pearl veil of day

you have nothing to do but live

From “Grief Sweat” (Broken Moon Press, P.O. Box 24585, Seattle, Wash. 98124-0585: $10; 79 pp.). 1991 by Jody Aliesan. Reprinted with permission.