Benediction (30 days in the asylum) | Paulette Claire Turcotte

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There is a secret medicine given only to those who hurt so hard they cannot hope. —Rumi

  1. somewhere a woman,
  2. you were intoxicated with the light from a thousand brilliant suns
    but the lights were out where I came from
  3. my heart was pounding as I turned to leave
    listen, I said, I break like tinder
  4. you loved my specific and colourful madness
    the touch of my fingertips on your cheek
  5. look now, no regrets
  6. crows feed on my grief
    I am petrified wood
  7. vestiges of human frailty stalk me
    something alien breathes in me
  8. the planets still orbit the around the sun
  9. I beseech the saints,
    mourn prophets 
 light candles to the Blessed Virgin
  10. I am the disappeared
    inventing my own city
    the streets and I
    fronting on insanity
  11. I am a muscle, an eel, a fish, 
 I am a heart, a woman
  12. the lunatic forum for the marginalized
  13. I am petrified wood
  14. I run naked into the streets
  15. there were too many nights like this you said
  16. now the saints whisper,
    asking me to believe.
  17. the bite of the dark
 the cold of the walls
    the corpses stacked along the way
  18. naked, I wander the hallways
    looking for comfort
    signs mistaken for wonders
    the pity beyond all telling
  19. we were bruised and we were healed
    I wrote letters from the asylum 
 an act of contrition is a lonely sacrifice
  20. the voices taunted me from behind the walls
 I was clothed by the good sisters,
    dreamed into being by their persistent prayers
  21. letters, words, proof that I’m here,
 I exist
  22. I lie down with my dreams and the stars,
    with my head at the roots
    of that one tree you see there
  23. the birds are about.
  24. I can smell the loam.
  25. am I too late?
  26. what is the colour of hope?
  27. I dream of a changeling
    animal and divine
  28. I am holding out for the sacred medicine.
  29. sometimes your desires are all that’s left after the storm
  30. still, it’s hard, wrestling with a stone.


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