Ariana D. Den Bleyker

< Back to Issue Nine


God Is in Me & Where the Boats Go So Often

Look for the soul, you become soul;
hunt for the bread, you become bread;
whatever you look for, you are.


The day slowly pulls the sun down
into the horizon, light filtering
through the curtains, nestling
the sun into me & there I fall,
catching sight of something quiet
& intangible, tasting light

& listening to the nothing
& everything surrounding me.
I thread through needle, work
the patchwork of myself into
the hollowed-out spot where I let God
dream for me, bring me unfailing hope,

the weight of it all a clean grace
golden & growing, the hollowness
dislodging an ache from my throat
that whirls around me. In this idle,
the sky outside becomes wilder,
turning in circles, gives meaning

to a sheet of stars hung by clothespins
illuminating my calling, my knowing
how to pay attention, how to kneel,
how to fill the hole & be blessed,
how to swallow the moonlight

where God is & all the patterns
of sky that come together
to become a gathering of me.

The Aftermath of Healing

for Jim

& doves gather inside me,
tuck their soft wings inside my mouth,
slip over my tongue, repairing
all that’s been broken,
a mix of weight & lightness,
infallible energy swelling inside
the unmistakable whisper
of my name.

& I feel it all unfold, feel
my tongue peeling off the words
caught in a darkness far too long,
body singing undauntedly,
as if silent prayer,
as if psalm,
as if speaking of endings
like beginnings I can’t see.


& when God whispers my name
it ends no end at all—


I call my own name,
watch it float into the firmament,
joyful sorrow grieving,
if just for a moment,
knowing it’s all been worth waiting for
& the world can no longer hold me
inside the elegance of spilled water
carrying me home.

Ariana D. Den Bleyker is a Pittsburgh native currently residing in New York’s Hudson Valley where she is a wife and mother of two. When she’s not writing, she’s spending time with her family and every once in a while sleeps. She is the author of three collections and twenty chapbooks, among others. She is the founder and publisher of ELJ Editions, Ltd., a 501(c)(3) literary nonprofit. She hopes you’ll fall in love with her words.

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Artwork: “Sunset in the winter. A coast of the sea” by Arkhyp Kuindzhi. c.1890. Public Domain.

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