Despertar 1
By Danielle Mitchell

Think of me as light, imperishable. Think small,
think stubborn bean of a light on & ongoing toward
whatever, whatever is out there. An island,
or a morning. Maybe it’s a boat; I don’t know.
I am that light.

Today the doctor said if I go in the sun I’ll get a rash.
She didn’t say if that was the exposed skin or
if my whole body would be covered by daylight
& I didn’t ask. For the first time in weeks
I wanted to go outside. Wanted to interrogate
my face with sun or cloud. Things are finally starting
to turn around, I thought. If we could all
repeat it like this: I am

imperfect, I am imperfect, I am imperfect but I know
how to dance. Let that be the journey’s new slogan.
On the open range it will be harder to contain
my anxiety. I’ll take fewer medicines. You will call me
a lark & my eyes will show their light at the seams.
We will cry into each other. We will circle the wagons
build the grandest campfire & let everything breathe.
We will make a day of it we’ll call it Single Women’s
Rehabilitation Day, call it that

& laugh as if all I need is a man. I tell you I am a light.
Come to me on the river; we’ll shove ourselves into
the water’s smoky path. Whenever you’re drowning,
remember—let someone down, let someone down
so hard you come back up more yourself. That rarity.
That luminosity. That is you, we sail to at night.

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