What's Left Ypsilanti

Wrestle

Julia Bayha

I am this person
who must wrestle with my relationship 2 words
alone, intimately & deeply
yet then, when I have reached a place where
this works, where
it feels good, when
I feel sated with this practice of
grappling & scribbling,
sounding out what will work &
scratching out what won't,
it means then I must gather with others who wrestle

in darkness they wrestle, they wrestle at noon, they
wrestle with words in all sorts of cafes, they
wrestle with words as they write their plays
they wrestle with meaning all of their days
they wrestle, too

then, WE attempt 2 find another like-minded person
[whom we recognize by the bookbag, the notebooks, the
"never-leave-the-house-without-a-pen" vibe] the friendly
soul whose friendliness is not extroversion as much as it is that need
2 find one's own kind at times, when the night silence falls & 2
hear the magic of the words

2 listen 2 rhythms
not played on instruments
not held in hands but rhythms born
of the stirrings of the soul & rhythms

pulled out of us by the moon
rhythms that help us to put ourselves in tune
& well,
we NEED each other

poets gather around a microphone under small stage lights
like country folk gather 'round bonfires
[we keep each other warm that way]

we light the fires that spark revolutions & romance alike
we round out life with words &
combinations of words that no one else
seems 2 need as much as we do, until...
they hear our words out loud & then they
realize they too were hungry all the way down deep...

deep down to their bones hungry,
deep down in their cells hungry, until

we feed them what fed us
those words we wrestled with all alone
those words that break stones
those words that atone

words that hug & heal & steal softly into our psyche
without ever touching
but words that may have you finding that healing you need,
that may have you reaching 2 touch another, or they
reach 2 you & you find yourself
accepting, THAT sweetly & yet

you ask me why I wrestle?

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