2/30: LESSONS FROM THE SAGA OF LIGHT
by Zachary Caballero
God bless my bluebonnet heart opening Sunday morning
Like the last laugh of wildflowers in my grandmother’s garden—
God bless the by-lines of beauty multiplying in the dark, growing
overnight, springing from everlasting ash like a blunt wrapped
in phoenix feathers. I found I do not fear what I cannot learn
and I cannot learn what I do not witness. The lesson is this:
We’re still learning to love the lessons, no matter the teacher.
I once wrote, if you lose hope, try forgiveness. But I did not
Trust the teacher, so I chose neither. In the interest of justice,
I ask that the universe reverse the grid-lock of my grief.
Though, I know this is not possible. My brother taught
me how to box-out. This was the first time I learned
to put a perimeter around the pain. As a creature who craves
the hunt of the heart, I ask for hands to hold the slippery
silver fish of suffering. Remember the rebound. In the interests of joy,
I ask the voice of vulnerability to self-govern. In every poem,
a crossing collapses and another bridge begins. Please,
despite the dark doom of destruction, accept this invitation.
Wander into the wilderness. Witness what work it is to stay.
Though, I know this is not possible. In the interest of Self-
Preservation, I ask the secretkeeper to switch to bees.
Why does what I keep never feel like honey?
The lesson is this: I cannot define what is unfinished.
“If I lead you through the fury, will you call to me?”
I sing fleet foxes in red boxers when no one is watching.
Last spring, I spent all my love making time, just like
The Eagles taught me. But what happens when I run out?
Imagine the eye of the storm. Now imagine your eyes.
Whose eyes are lying? If I want the answer to my question,
I’d give it. The lesson is this: the wood in me is not for building.
I used to borrow the best parts of my boyhood to understand
the misunderstandings, wishing, I did not know what I know now.
I used to ask for forgiveness instead of permission. Though, I know,
This was not possible. After offering my body into the wrong church’s
collection plates, my lover tells me, I am no longer a safe-space.
The teacher taught me: whatever I gave, I took away. Like a carousel
of untold truths, I spun my tongue away from the end. In the interests
of time, I ask that the clock restart. I ask for one hand to join my hand
and hold whatever part of my heart is most bruised. Though, I know,
this was not possible. The lesson is this: even pain has limits.
For years, all I wanted as a boy was to be loved. The world gave
me many things, but I still wanted more. First, desire, then lust,
Then greed. At twenty-five, I ask each dark seed to leave. Though,
this is not possible. The earth is strong and I am not ready yet.
For a while, I forget most terrible things I’ve done or did.
Then I remember the wild foe of my woe, guilty as green grass.
I try to mow the misery growing into a sanctuary city.
Do not pity the fool forever failing to find the spark in the dark.
Though, I know this is not possible, I still bless my bluebonnet
heart opening up, like a faucet I fixed in the dark. God bless
The lessons I am still alive to live through. At twenty-five,
I have lived through one-hundred seasons. Through every season,
I have left what I cannot forgive in the fury of the past. Is anyone
Left to call to me? Though, I may not always answer.