Today my body is an archangel of love
Whose wings fly open in astonishment
At the hawk that thrusts past my window,
At the tiny monarch caterpillars in my garden, everywhere,
Whose mother kissed the leaves of the milkweed
On her way to the coastal sanctuary in the eucalyptus grove,
Leaving her children behind on the breast of Baba Yaga.
Oh, such shining joy as this
I want to give to everyone.
My heart is a universe overflowing
With every terror, every bubble of laughter, every housecat giving birth secretly
In a nest of red maple leaves beneath the bougainvillea,
With every sighing blade of the palm tree languishing in the sunlight after rain.
My heart lifts and lifts and lifts with such longing for all those I love.
I stretch my wings and out burst butterflies, dragonflies, hummingbirds,
Who tread so swiftly on the air, who live in a shimmer of light,
Who drink nectar, capture smaller flyers, and skim over the surface of ground water
Like explorers gazing into the mirror of a new world.
Why am I happy after such dark fear?
I don’t know.
I am breathing in excitement within the still heart of grace.
I can hear far-off music coming closer, singing songs of promise and of praise.
I gasp with delight as the morning unfolds.
My body is an archangel of love.
Some people survive cancer like a three-legged dog
Who struggles to perform tricks that were easy when she was whole.
I have re-grown my leg, shape-shifted into a wolf running under the moon.
The earth is my bones, the waterfall my blood,
The flowers my words, the trees my hair,
The eagle’s cry my song, the flash of sunlight on water my eyes.
I lift up onto my hind legs and feathers sprout from all my limbs,
My face, human again, yet suffused with a nameless light,
My body, an archangel of love.