Poetry: Jude the Apostle and Akhilandeshvari

Colour photograph of a person with long dark hair dancing with pale beige fabric swirling around them

even broken, you are beautiful
even shattered and stricken and falling to pieces
and i don’t mean beautiful like your hair or your
body or the symmetry of your face
i mean beautiful like your soul built from sighs and
screams and rage and wonder and the sum of all
you are, and you are beautiful.

i would wrap you in words like stardust and
honesty and in promises like sacred and
shining and something like divinity and you
would roll your eyes and nudge me with
your shoulder because again i have said
too much, and you are beautiful.

this too shall pass and other misused platitudes
and saccharine reassurances until the days that
will sting less and ache less and lift you up instead of
weighing you down and the clouds will clear and
other cliches, and you are beautiful.

between these days and those days remember
there are tales of a patron saint of lost causes and a
goddess who is never not broken and there
is you, and you are beautiful.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

This poems works best when read out loud.

Recently, a few of my friends have been going through challenging times for various reasons and it reminded me how difficult it can be to say the right thing, or at least not the wrong thing, and how easy it is to fall back on tried and tested things-to-say-when-someone-is-unhappy. While I was thinking about how much I wished these lovely people weren’t suffering, I ran into two things online that attached themselves to my train of thought – Jude the Apostle (via Wikipedia) and Why Lying Broken in a Pile on Your Bedroom Floor is a Good Idea (via Elephant Journal).

I am a follower of neither the Catholic nor Hindu faith, so I hope I haven’t horribly misappropriated either of these figures by referring to them in this context. I’m not suggesting that people should borrow religion when they’re unhappy (or that they shouldn’t, cause hey, do your thing however you want to do it). I just found it interesting that these two should appear in my field of online vision at that moment and they landed neatly into the difficult final lines of a poem I was working on.

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