By: Danielle Bennett


on bravery

The silence says I am freshly gutted.
Says the lantern I’ve been using looks a lot like my ego.
Says I am novice in the art of honesty—
too blunt or too ambiguous.
That I have molded my life in the shape
of other people’s opinions and desires.
That each day at noon, the
old church bells sound my failures,
including the name of each person
I have used to feed the wrong beasts.

Silence – a cactus of gentle points
waiting for me to notice I haven’t been bleeding
anything but grace
and quiet darkness can look like the back
of an open throat but I know
it won’t swallow me.

Sweet silence, I am not afraid
of your voice. At the end of everything
you are always a boomerang-ed
“I love you” returning
home to me again and again.

Is this not the beginning of bravery?
What it is to spread my deck on the table each morning,
pull the missing cards from out of my sleeves,
and choose to play with my
whole hand?

What it is to walk head on
into a crashing wave,
arms spread like an albatross,
unafraid because silence
and I both know
that even if the wave cuts me open,
it’s gonna meet God in there,
gonna find itself
spilling into an ocean.