Not Back, But Deeper

Not Back, But Deeper

Not back, but deeper,

although both require pain

in cracking and re-setting

crooked bones of assumption,

in the dusty discomfort

of sifting through shadows.


Not back, but deeper,

because forward is the only way through—

not standing still waiting for change,

not slipping backward into comfort.


Not back, but deeper,

requires digging until

you slump with exhaustion,

howl with frustration,

plead for respite.


Not back, but deeper,

even when you ache to resurface,

when truth’s rancid breath

makes you wretch.


Not back, but deeper,

until your heart shatters open

at the first speck of beauty,

at the faint, but pure, voice

harmonizing with the melody

you’ve stifled all these years.


Not back, but deeper,

as you approach the mirror

with a smile, finally able to look

without flinching, recognizing, at last,

that wise woman from your dreams

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