From the Ashes

By, Emma Zwickel

and she is loved, she is loved

by the breath that bellows in her chest,

tight but warm, rising but suspending like

it was never there: I hope she knows.

it will always be there.

she is loved by the ones who made her new again,

a community of warriors, hands chained together,

key in plain sight and eventually, she found it,

eventually, she rose a fist to an unborn sky and declared,

“I’ve made my way through a false heaven, climbed

down to hell and earned my master’s in anger management.

It’s time that I’ve come clean, it’s time that I put

more good in this world than I can get out

and I’ve seen canaries transform into phoenixes,

I’ve seen the world burn, burn a thousand times over but

I’ve seen love put out the worst of fires and I hope that someone

can finally put out mine.”

and she is loved, she is loved

by the heart she buries her body in every morning,

she can hear it beat through my ribcage,

strong and steady, faithful, never faltering

and she is loved, she is loved because

even before she loved me,

she chose to love herself.

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