Bless Small Accidents

The world is silent, not still, faster
but more silent, which is how it will always be.
The end, if it comes, will be quiet

darkness, rain warm as flesh,
gust of wind—a mercy—a forgotten tree
ripe for the imagining,

for understanding simplicity,
small pleasures,
things that come without warning,

moments we want to forget ourselves,
climb trees with tiny familiar hands
& set them on fire,

watch their branches blacken,
bark peeling while we sit inside shadows, smoke,
spitting sparks, no longer able to tell

how hot it is or remember what heat means,
catch falling ashes
until our tongues release

the faint tickle in the back of our throats,
the scent of burned leaves throbbing, needling
itself inside us

until we fall & strike roots, rail & scratch
our faces (the worst part
not being the scratch or scrape or cut itself,

the broken skin, but the pain meant to make us
remember, to make our hearts learn
to fold their hands in prayer).

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, including Wayward Lines (RAW ArT PRESS, 2015), the chapbooks Forgetting Aesop (Bandini Books, 2011), Naked Animal (Flutter Press, 2012), My Father Had a Daughter (Alabaster Leaves Publishing, 2013), Hatched from Bone (Flutter Press, 2014), On Coming of Age and Stitches (Origami Poems Project, 2014), On This and That (Bitterzoet Press, 2015), Strangest Sea (Porkbelly Press, 2015), Beautiful Wreckage (Flutter Press, 2015), Unsent (Origami Poems Project, 2015), The Peace of Wild Things (Porkbelly Press, 2015), Knee Deep in Bone (Hermeneutic Chaos Press, 2015), Birds Never Sing in Caves (Dancing Girl Press, 2016), Even the Statue Weeps (Sylph Press, 2017), and Cutting Eyes from Ghosts (Blood Pudding Press, 2017). She is the founder of ELJ Editions, a small press with big things to offer, home of Emerge Literary Journal, scissors & spackle, Amethyst Arsenic, and other fine journals.

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