#NationalPoetryMonth 12/30

The word of God
breathes in every throat.
You can eat it, he says,
like butterfish we have for breakfast
with day-old bread
and ripe plantain,
bitter coffee to remember
how we wear this skin that hurts.

— from “Every Throat”

Today’s read: This Side Of Early: Poems, Naomi Ayala – Curbstone Press – 2008

Reading poems is always an interactive event for me. This month I have been reading collections before eating, after cooking, recovering from intense cardio, thinking about the work during runs and walks, and while hearing different accounts of the pandemic.

Today I view these poems from the lens of Easter. I am a non-practicing Catholic but I am still fascinated by the rituals of Sunday mass. They give me a comfort from time to time and this is definitely the time for small comforts. Easter, in particular, is a Catholic holiday that is equal parts purple vestments, crowded service, rambunctious choir with a side sprinkling of pastel everything, McDonald’s playground visits, and (in the good times) new clothes.

This poem brings me back to when the sounds of mass mix with the business of home. How it was hard to distinguish the voice of God and the one of my mother.

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