How to Hold the Universe

Oh, the complexity of me.  

Seemingly dichotomous needs tangle up like thorny vines ensnaring silken skirts.  Zippers catch on long hair: the struggle to flow freely and be contained at once.  

Do we commit to ideas of who we are, or to liberating the real thing?  

Mother Culture says what it means to be good, and wickedness grows in the shadows of righteous light.

Dark desires reign in silence as we attempt to be well-behaved.  But something wild flashes in our minds and in our eyes when no one is looking.

Sometimes monsters arise out of the forbidden appetite subdued so long it becomes all they are.  And they take and take and leave a mark.

Sometimes primal beasts contort themselves into docility so they won’t be found out.  The lap dog is really a wolf, ashamed of his teeth so he never opens his mouth and starves.

And some of us are both obedient and feral, waiting for instructions to serve, permission to please,

praying to be conquered by an instinctual power, begging to engage with an embodied force in complete control.

I want to be free to be what I am, but I want to be owned.  I want to create but I want to be directed.  I want to fly but I want to be bound.  

To dance with gravity under open skies and to be pinned down.  To be a fire fed by wind under my skin, confined by a hand over my mouth.

To be vulnerable and safe: a fruit with a husk, a soft thing in a shiny shell.  A ripe virgin behind the door with only one key in the pocket of the King.

But what if His Majesty is not enough to tame me, for once the flower is plucked it grows into a garden too vast for a tender?

How will I ever stay inside the gates when my many roots travel beneath the house into the darkest soil, following the Great Mystery to the Waters of the Underworld?

And what if that sea answers me and swells til we become a swamp so large there is nowhere solid left to stand?

Will my Royal Keeper think it wise to grow fins only to get stuck in the marsh?  Will he get himself goulashes and sink nonetheless?

Or will he become a serpent, shed his sunny skin and slither into the depths to find me?

And what if I cannot be found, because I transcended the ground and became the sea or the sky, or the entire world?

If I become the universe, I can never be held again by less than the fabric of existence.

Copyright © Sheyorah Naify, 2021
Fine art Bodypainting- Light From Withing Part 2 by Bella Volen.

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