Stephanie Dering

Sierra Maestra

Here are the miracles I have survived:
bullet holes, ruler’s-edge rain falling,
revolutions still revolving. Doesn’t
everyone live between earth and another
earth trying to be heaven? Who isn’t
a guerrilla in the jungle of her mind?
I watch the sky’s cloud-cape
red and wide as the fire in my blood,
rekindling as often as my memory, or
memory-being-made. My sin bends light.
I am not like the earth; she does not
swallow me; I crawl inside her soft mouth
to find mercy and she does not bite.
When my mission is complete, I emerge
to a world that doesn’t say, that woman,
that nature, that damp dark spirit.
They will say, you, yes. You.
We recognize your spark. Welcome
to heaven, our work in progress.

Stephanie Dering recently received her MFA in poetry from Washington University in St. Louis. She was published as a finalist in the Narrative 30 Below contest, 2013. She lives with her partner, Hope, and dog, Sunny, in St. Louis. Tweet her @stephaniejoyed