That Being Said

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Contributor: Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas

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When her love became too vast to contain
her heart began to seep past walls
into her lungs and tinged her breath with hope

and a kind of sweetness that almost made her choke.
And when she spoke her words had a trace
of melancholy that could be heard through

a wistful breeze and the silence of bowing trees
that nearly broke from carrying her voice
until it passed overhead and vanished through an opaque sky.

Why she would ask in a litany of prayers on walks
past gardenias as though the wind would answer
and move her in unison with billows of clouds

that began to form shapes of people she once adored,
some of them saintly, like parables in the bible
that came to life when she closed her eyes. Each

more lovely than the next and she began to weep
for the children she never had and her children’s
children and every child yet to be born

When her love became too vast to contain
in one solitary thought, every moment felt swollen
with all possibilities never realized and her body

trembled with lament as if she knew fate
was calling her name and as if she knew nothing
and everything at once, as if she knew she would

never remember a moment like this again.
And she thought about life having just one beginning
and she thought about life having just one end

and she remembered how all shadows disappear
with light and how all darkness is disrupted
with one glimmer of brilliance no matter how small

even the slightest star was a magnificent disruption
and she imagined herself glowing with bits of memories
in a wild array of untamed haloes that exploded within

and without under what might be named a starless
night. And she wept for her parents, and for her parent’s
parents and all the missteps she’d ever made or still to come.

When her love became too vast to contain
in her own being she was thankful for knowing
the kind of love that made her life steady yet breakable

uncertain and sturdy with its breadth of magic
though often paired with a plethora of unbearable pain,
and its indelicate balance of eventual sorrow,

the kind of love that made her gasp, the kind of love
that made her unable to speak, and the kind of love
that made her weep for the knowing and unknowing

of things, and the never-ending glimmer of grace
that brings an untouchable force, an unnamable
beauty beyond her being into the overwhelming

wakefulness that hallowed her with the ongoing
yet all too temporary need for weeping.

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Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas is a six-time Pushcart nominee and Best of the Net nominee.She is the 2012 winner of the Red Ochre Press Chapbook Her latest collection of work, The Nightly Suicides, can be found at Kattywompus Press


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