Origin Story

Joann K. Deiudicibus

After Joy Harjo


Remember the last breath should be as full as the first.

Know each of your lung’s landscapes.

Remember each cut as well as each kiss.

Know that every touch on your body marks a path back to love.

Remember day-break and wave-break; map points

where they burst over and inside of your metronomic heart,

siphoning shores of that abandoned island.

Remember you are salt and sand, star and seaweed,

seed and skeleton, a sound tsunami

cresting at the speed of light.

Remember that the mother who bore you also shattered,

the father that failed you also made you.

Your eyes may be bright with a prophet’s vision,

your hair may burn pale as the moon, but

remember the belly that bred you, the hands

that raised you up, skyward where you could almost

reach what had ripened, taste the air like Eve,

who, uncoiling from some cosmic conch,

was called womb-ward from the waves.

Remember her voice speaking in serpentine tongues,

how she bled sin to sing you, her first hymn.


Shawangunk Review Volume XXXI Copyright © 2020 by Joann K. Deiudicibus. All Rights Reserved.

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