Semantic notions about life: an exploration of words and signs, and the stories they are trying to tell.

voice | les·son

voice | les·son

SE Main & 44th, Portland, OR, USA

SE Main & 44th, Portland, OR, USA

voice /vois/

Verb.To express (something) in words; to give utterance or expression to; declare; proclaim.

les·son /les(ə)n/

Noun. A useful piece of practical wisdom acquired by experience or study.

There is steam rising
over spiced cider in a crowded cafe on a crisp Fall day
And I am sitting a little too close to a man I call friend
A man providing me with a diagnosis I did not ask for.

“You burn bright.
A lot of men will be attracted to that flame.
And then not know what to do with it.
With you.”

Let me tell you how women tend to my burn.

The one on my left bicep, a heart-shaped bruise
the size of a silver dollar, a souvenir
from leaning over too close
to my oven while attempting to pull
out a pyrex dish of sweet potato fries.

Skin carries a remarkable ability
to heal,
even after considerable damage.

In a room full of 14 goddesses that have gathered to create
and bear witness
to the art of story,
I am offered and administered aid.
A homemade, beeswax-based, organic olive oil-infused salve
filled with calendula, plantain, comfrey, St. John’s Wort, hints of linden.
A crowdsourcing of band-aids.
A kiss on my arm to seal
the journey of recovery
that has now been set underway.

When invading microorganisms
have been brought under control,
The skin proceeds to fix itself.

Let me tell you how women tend to my burn.

The one in my furnace of words, and my pilot light
that has been on temperamental operating terms.
The discovery that my warranty has not expired.
These women, their stories and bravery and compassion,
my flame for reset.

Let me tell you one more thing.

I will never
apologize
for burning bright.

And to those men
who don’t know what to, “Do with me?”
Might I suggest you start with a simple
thank you
For allowing you the privilege of my heat.

em·pa·thy

em·pa·thy

prom·ise

prom·ise