Before the Opening

In the day’s last light,
the sunflower stalk,
thick-stemmed and weighted

with burgeoning buds,
shines. It shines. It glows
as golden on the outside

as any petals that hide within,
and for a moment, I find
it easy to believe that they

are the same—what is out,
what is in. All holy. All shining. No difference.
And for a moment, I believe

there is nothing to change.
Nothing left to want but what is.
Even so, I can see

there is so much ready to blossom,
so much potential, so much to be lost
come hail, come frost.

But here in this low-angled light
I’m oddly content. Despite tension. It is easy to bend
in the insistent wind. I dream

I am inside the bud, and I’m pushing
against the green walls.
And I feel myself being tugged between wanting

to stay inside where it’s safe
and this deepening wish to unfold.
And I’m scared. And that’s real.

And I’m thrilled. That’s real, too.
And it’s hard to contain it all.
And I don’t. I forgive what it is

to be human. We spill. We leak.
We unfurl. We blossom. We open.
We fall. We fall. In this moment
I know I am ready to love, I am
willing to risk everything. In this
moment I trust how the skin must break

before the opening.

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