by Catherine Jagoe


I will not forget the summer I forced myself
out onto the deck and sat there in despair,
swollen-eyed, slatternly, my throat raw,
my head heavy with drugs that made me
endlessly sleep and eat but did not cure my pain,

how you suddenly appeared, suspended
in mid-air, a jewelled messenger
on wings of living, iridescent green.
The ruby at your throat glowed in the sun
as our eyes met. No one else saw you.

I knew your message was yourself: green
flame of concentrated life, scrap of pure
unbounded energy. The next time I labored
under the same weight, you reappeared:
hovering between the lilacs and the bleeding heart.

-originally appeared in Red Wheelbarrow