poem / prayer / battle cry for the leo new moon

Originally written in July 2017. 

I want joy to be easy

not a laborious exercise in mindfulness
not a lukewarm under seasoned meal
at the end of hours of positive self-talk

I want joy to grab me by my wrists
pull me back from dangling off that mountain cliff
with the same godly strength I wield
every time I try to make a relationship work

I don’t want joy to need my permission
I don’t want it waiting around
until I figure out how to ask

I want its helpless devotion
even if I was too proud to notice

I want it to chase me
vow to never leave me
even if I ran in the other direction
even if I was too scared of getting hurt

I want joy
when I’m too exhausted to earn it

I want joy
when I don’t deserve it

I want its guarantee
the kind of commitment
that doesn’t change its mind

I want joy to throw itself at me
smack me in the face
remind me that I can’t ignore it
I can’t go too far or too long without it
just the way that death does

I want joy to be my best friend
my earliest childhood memory
my lover, partner, parent
just the way that grief is

I want joy to burst through
locked doors at night
wake me from sleep
just the way abuse has

I want joy to be easy
not a reward on the other side
of trial by fire

but just as normal
as violence

just as daily
as brutality

just as open hearted
as broken

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