for her

I have a vast collection of shells, many of which I didn’t even have to look for; they simply washed up at my feet, poking at my ankles, nudging my attention.  Those that tend to just appear are always varying degrees of flawed.  Their color will have smudged, they’ll be cracked down the middle, have pointy edges, or sometimes even disintegrate upon touch.  These always end up being my favorite ones.  The people who have floated into my life are so much like these favorite shells.  They’ve been battered by the waves, split through their core, faded, missing pieces of themselves.  Yet, they still manage to find their way to the shore, reaching for the warmth of the sun, offering up their hearts again and again.  We find ourselves when we find those whose shells match our own.

 

© Jennifer Summer | 2015

© Jennifer Summer | 2015

move


These shoes are like coming home.  Every day, I remind my body of what it can do and from where it came.  Others may raise their hands to the heavens to glorify that which they cannot see, but when I feel the motion tug at me from the inside, clawing its way out, I know that this is the kind of holiness that can make me believe; the drenching ache that steals your breath and leaves you glowing and satisfied.  

 

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© Jennifer Summer | 2015

© Jennifer Summer | 2015

Posted
AuthorJennifer Summer

sur la pointe

Aching bones, shooting pains through the arch of my foot, toes that bruised and bled.  I was a slave to a burning pull inside that whispered, move, extend, reach, breathe, breathe, breathe. You give over your body when you dance; you allow the music to carry you to and fro like crisp leaves being evicted from trees by howling winds.  The surrender is sweet and bitter at once, a willingness to open your own veins with a smile just to let the rhythm into your blood.  The desire is not one of those which fade over time, sinking quietly back into the recesses of who we used to be.  It stays alive and present, ready to lift us up and out of whatever reality in which we’ve settled.  

 

© Jennifer Summer | 2015

© Jennifer Summer | 2015

cage-free

He told her that her rib cage was big to accommodate the size of her heart.  Without the confines of those twenty-four ivory bars, it would take reckless flight, careening into passions that would leave a dull scar on its wings. Swooping down purposely, it would pull her along into the sinking mirrors of his eyes, part her thighs in response to the full lips that bite into her own.  Enclosure was impregnable, but less intoxicating.   And the safety is an illusion; the devastating consequence of a heart that never breaks free of its prison is that it dehydrates slowly. This heart speaks for us with brittle-boned words that turn to dust the second they leave our mouths.

 

© Jennifer Summer | 2015

© Jennifer Summer | 2015

veins

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The blue veins traversing beneath your skin are your map. Behind alabaster walls, a current roars through the delicate ropes that keep your soaring heart in motion.  Each person who crosses your path is a pin pressed into this map, an indelible mark that brands you.  You seek them out subconsciously and they appear; women who keep your secrets and catch your tears, men who bring their lips to your neck and with one kiss it’s all over. This trip is your own and it leads you exactly to those whom you are meant to discover.  They sing in your blood long before you ever find them and that chorus becomes your geography.

 

© Jennifer Summer | 2015

© Jennifer Summer | 2015

Posted
AuthorJennifer Summer

milk

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And we were the girls who were told we’d be ‘spoiled’ if we let anything inside us before marriage; a tampon, a penis, a finger.  Like a forgotten carton of milk left to curdle on a kitchen counter, light-swept with the day’s dying sun, our future righteous husbands could smell it a mile away.  Our sin, our trespass.  Our ache.

But what they didn’t count on was us finding something delicious in the damage.  We weren’t giving away our virginity, we were taking our pleasure.  And if it meant we were unclean, we learned to love that, too. Our lovers were leavers of bruises, blueberry-stains on our thighs and arms, they were the ladder of bites up a spine.  It was better than anything else God had yet to offer. 

We sat with our legs slightly open, we ate with our fingers.  We tipped our faces toward the sun.  We were the girls who would scream into the wind, who would kiss our sisters hard on the lips and spill ancient words into their mouths: Part the clouds, find your moon.  Howl.

 

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