When Beasts Stir

            (when foolishly seeking
           illusive and mythic beasts)

open your hands to catch your breath
            (dropping pain from memory)
Peel away skins of bitterness
and layer on freckled vulnerability.

build pyres of looming specters,
only to shred them for kindling
            (written threats and haunting voices dance in flames,
            only to disappear) 
the embers smoke like cedar planks.

Beasts stir
what’s left of your remaining heart,
from who you really are,
            (fate, as you know, spares those it does not mark*)
and leave it behind

let yourself rise,

*Beowulf, lines 572-573