“Finally on my way to yes
I bump into
all the places
where I said no
to my life
all the untended wounds
the red and purple scars
those hieroglyphs of pain
carved into my skin, my bones,
those coded messages
that send me down
the wrong street
again and again
where I find them
the old wounds
the old misdirections
and I lift them
one by one
close to my heart
and I say
© Pesha Joyce Gertle
The terror of saying yes is a paralyzing one. The fear tingles in your cheeks and intertwines with your own throbbing heartbeat, pounding of this decibel unusual for a Wednesday. You can feel the tears perched under your eyes, steady for now, but available if needed. The clock a silent teleportation device between no and yes. And now that you’re here, the movement starts to swell and sway. Waves of something quite unknown rippling their way across the sea of your torso. Bringing warmth. Bringing...joy? And suddenly it is safe to be alive in the world. And suddenly you know what you’ve been missing.
There is a whale deep within the ocean of me
In its mouth a golden cord
which is firmly wrapped around me now.
“Say yes,” it says and plunges downward.
“Say yes, “ it says and pulls me under
“No no NO” I fight and gasp and scream
I can’t breathe doesn’t it know?
But whales do not make habit of obeying
and this one is especially bold
“say yes” it continues, even more forcefully than before
and I afraid of death, resist.
we dance this way one hundred times
until at last I am convinced
The terror lasts but just a moment
my struggle brief and awful
We pick up speed and move towards blackness
the whale becomes a submarine and
now I’m safe inside
Deep and dark and quiet now
we float through an ocean cavern
When suddenly it fills with light
extreme to say the least
I can’t see anything at all,
not even my own hands.
“say yes” I hear the voice again, “say yes”
indeed this must be death
“Yes, okay,” I surrender and say though not without great fear
And as I do the light pulls back
to show an underwater garden.
I walk along the flowing seaweed, it comes up to my waist.
Then magically a hand appears, it looks like that of a woman.
I take her hand and there she is, majestic, light and flowing.
Draped in gowns with glowing hair with waves cascading downward.
She scoops me up and lies me back to rest upon her lap.
She holds me close, just like a child, she looks at me with precision.
and as she watches over me she tells me just one thing.
“I’ll give you everything, my child, I’ll give you everything.”