Each Day

I. Each day
Each day the dog outside your window and across the street
unclenching his bared fangs to let out a hollering cry
loud enough to be heard across the street and through your window
and you wish you could be a little more like that dog
in the way that you can’t bring yourself to look
in the mirror at your own bared teeth, at your lips pulled away
from your gums, at your sharpened
because all canines know when to let go
of their vice-tight grip on tearing flesh
but you do not.
Despite the years of your life slowly slipping away as you grow wiser
and wiser, you still don’t understand
how to let go.

II. Each day
Each day the bird sings outside your window, in that tree you love
so much,
so much so that the desecration of its sacred branches, by the clawed feet
of the bird, sickens you.
Not as much, though, as the endless praise of the new day
and you wish you could be a little more like that bird
in the way that you too could be so proud of your voice.
When it warbles and shakes, to you it is no longer
a beautiful song
but instead, another record of your mistakes,
of your failings.
But if only birds who could trill perfectly were the ones who sang,
the forest would be
a very quiet place.

III. Each day
Each day you still ache and shiver and skin
on skin contact burns where it once healed and
though no one can ever fix you,
they can help.
The largest catalyst to change is you; it has always been you.
It is you in the way you are the dog,
in the way you are the bird
and in the way you are the holy branches of the tree.

Your fangs are dull but no longer bared,
your voice is strong but your throat is raw,
your branches have held the weight of the sun but that weight has fought back.
For every give there must be a take,
for every grief there is a happiness that comes after,
a happiness so complete and utter that, despite your history
of hopelessness, of disgust and longing to be better,
you will know that you have gotten better.
How could you have known that things would ever be this good?
when your chest aches, when you shiver, when skin
on skin contact burns,
remember that you have grown from the last time this happened.
You can handle this.
Look at how happy you can be-
how happy you will be.
You are what you are, dog and bird and holy tree,
until you pick out the marrow of your bones and
sort through the dust to find
each part of the stars that travel in your veins,
and become a universe,
made entirely of mistakes and skinned knees,
that has come together to create a beautiful picture of
how it is to be
a human.

By Charlie Reynolds

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