[The following is a piece written for a proprioceptive exercise inspired by Rachel Ann Russel's poem, Broken Beauty.] Twisted grace upon the waters Shedding light and blinding eye I wake to pain while seeking warmth How do you know whether to welcome consciousness to the new day Or not? I hang here Resistant to more death More sorrow More breath of life Resurrecting another tomorrow. How now do we step fully into graveyards Birthing rooms Salon parlors and Sandboxes of forbidden and forgotten toys? I haven’t yet decided Have I Which is the good? To recognize the brokenness The sorrow The suffering The barking dog in the distance? The barking dog Such a tired trope But can you discern a joyful yalp From a fearful yelp? I, sometimes, cannot. But I seek you in the morning In the inbreaking of awareness. To slip back into somnolent slumber Seems anathema Antisocial Agnostic And that will not do. It will not. And, so, I go out to the yard and chase back inside the barking dog. It smiles, knowing its joy in yelping in feigned fear of the foreigner, The foreigner who resides within our false and falsified walls, Is the yalp of purpose taken on in an otherwise meaningless world Of sorrow. The worker on the other side of the fence, The thin wall between my world and my neighbor’s Got up this morning Much earlier than I, it should be noted And faced his day Faced the twisted grace Of whatever ache was still in his bones Or hung over his belly Or filled his soul Perhaps a new love propelled him forward Perhaps a cruel boss echoed in his recent memories Did he jump into this new day Or did he stumble? Whichever it was It brought him here Or there, on the other side of the fence He makes my neighbor’s yard clean And ordered. Brings a bit of weekly relief to their bunched-up schedules And gives my dog Purpose Feigned or real, it matters not. It brought him here Propelled him here And it was enough To make the sun go ‘round again Or all of us go around the sun And the sun go through the cosmos Dragging us along as servants to gravity. But, in the crack of dawn Each day, Being a servant of gravity Is not enough. Feigned yelps Feigning purposeful yalps Will not do for me. Such servitude secretes the secret Eventually. Gravity as a master Pulling covers over my head Or feet to floor Will eventually Pull body to pavement. And so, The crack of dawn Must One day Reveal A grace. Yes… When gravity wants all of you Wants to suck you into the abyss of meaninglessness And horror God Alone Must reveal A Full Complete And sufficing Grace. It must be strong enough to grab you by the scruff of your yelping, yalping neck And make you turn around And make you see completely So that When gravity twists it Into created coils Of awareness And consciousness And prisms of named things It will do. I was propelled this morning Through the warmth of quilted cloth First it was my reluctant hand That meant to grab the edge of covering And pull it over my head So I could drift back into the abyss. But instead it graced the feathery fur Of my dog’s fluffy tail. And the otherness Of my friend Freed me from gravity.