Featured Poetry

Marcy Rae Henry – start with looking

Marcy Rae Henry’s “start with looking” glitters with awareness, gratitude, and release. Comprised of Zen-like mastery, each stanza highlights a moment or image that is, in fact, a gift. Marcy told The Dewdrop that her poem was inspired by years of Buddhist practice–staying in the moment as it exists, and seeing beauty in those moments.

start with looking

and because i feel gutted like a fish free of bones
no longer knitted together by skin and scale

and because the most peaceful i ever felt was living alone
in a monk’s hut in the middle of India with panthers crawling 
thru early morning light as the sun cleared the mountain of guilt

and because i can’t seem to touch you with brown fingers 
snaked with veins undeniably full of themselves

and because it’s not the right time of night or i don’t have the right 
rhyme or shyness gets stuck in the throat like a bone

and because ceroid cacti only bloom once a year for just one night

and because all the words i owe you are stacked like books, 
like cans of food, like boxes or blocks

and because you remind me of an earth held together 
by magic and magnetic poles

and because you never get stage fright while i’m waiting 
for the curtain to go up and a spotlight to cover us in shine

and because i got robbed on a train traveling through India 
but still ride trains all the time

and because a fire in the fall smells as perfect as petrichor

and because some of my belongings were stolen at a Buddhist center 
in Burma where i took vows of no killing no stealing no lying no 
sexual conduct and knew there was so much i could do without

and because the antidote for feeling gutted is feeling grateful

and because in India i ate anything fried and soaking in syrup 
i can imagine your thighs in the game of cause and effect 

and because no flag exists that would explain how i feel

and because only when i die can i say i had the time of my life

Marcy Rae Henry

Marcy Rae Henry is a multidisciplinary artist y una Latina de Los Borderlands. She is delighted by tablas, tulips and the theremin. M.R. Henry’s writing has received a Chicago Community Arts Assistance Grant, an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship, a Pushcart Prize nomination and first prize in Suburbia’s 2021 Novel Excerpt Contest. Some of the stories and the first 50 pages can be found online. Other writing and visual art appear in The Columbia Review, carte blanche, PANK, The Southern Review, Cauldron Anthology and The Brooklyn Review, among others. DoubleCross Press will publish her chapbook We Are Primary Colors this year.

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