"jebba-north" © OsyMizpah Unuevho

Phoenix Sighting
by Iris Orpi


Then she walked into the fire—
clothed in the threads
that karma uses to bind
what we suffer with
what we inspire,
her silence
worth its weight in gold
and her words, when
she picks them,
have enough force in their
utterance to ransom
the future from the past.

They threw their chaos at her,
envy green and
tapered at the ends

but she didn’t burn,
even the curses
laced with gunpowder
wouldn’t borrow from
the air she was breathing
to get a spark started

nor lay hands on her

nor soot up the inkwell
clarity of her eyes

destruction hung from dry mouths
of ill will, unspoken
cowardly and anonymous angst
too impure to matter next to
her carbon-kissed skin,
mother of diamonds

the elements that
sustain the blaze
recognized the deep blue
of her soul as one
of their own, a genuine
piece of the source
and knew there was
no ending her

only closing the cycle:

clear the path,
watch the ashes,
behold the wings.


poem: Iris Orpi is a Filipina writer living in Chicago, IL. She is the author of The Espresso Effect (2010) and Cognac for the Soul (2012). She was an Honorable Mention for the annual Contemporary American Poetry Prize in 2014. Her work has appeared in over two dozen publications around Asia, North America, Europe, and Africa.

photograph: OsyMizpah Unuevho (ig: @the_mizpah) writes and collects poetry and rock samples from everywhere. Member of the Hill-top Arts Foundation, he is a road photography, mental paintings enthusiast and lover of rock, indie, experimental folk, shoegazing et cetera feminine bands and he loves the deep in everything.

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