Tapestry by Bracha K. Sharp


When I say “hidden,”
I mean the way that the body
Hides, until ready to break free,
The way that I hold these petals against
My face, kept anchored, only
By their scent.

When I say “held,” I mean
That even the contours of the
Canopy above me hold my
Brain and cradle my spine,
That too quickly to bloom and

The stem will break, that too
Little soil and I am afraid of what
Will not expose itself, will be kept
dormant and closed.

I have forgotten,
Misplaced the key to the door
Behind me, I have held the jar of
Blooms close to my face to protect
What I don’t yet know will emerge,
I am ready, here, to extend to

Your reach.

But when I say “brain” and “holding”
I speak of the flowers in
My skirts,
embroidered in stasis,
And the columns that surround us;
because geometricity has taken my hand and held me

And when I say “emerge” I speak
Of the unlocking and I invite the
Brain to undo, unkink, the way that
Even the seeds revivify, the way
That my skirts now reach out
To you to punch through columnar constructs, the

Way that my face emerges
From moon-shadow and glances
At flowered columns, wrapping vines—

The way that my eyes see yours and my brain blooms into green,
As it opens, magnified, the way that
The body
Breaks free, and unites with the
Brain, the steps that are taken

To open the stone door.

*Note: An ekphrastic poem after Ms. Danelle Rivas’s painting, “El Camino De Esmeralda”


Bracha K. Sharp was published in American Poetry Review, Birmingham Arts Journal, Sky Island Journal, ONE ART: a journal of poetry (where she was a nominee for ONE ART’s nominations for Orison Book’s Best Spiritual Literature [formerly The Orison Anthology]), and Wild Roof Journal, among others. Her poetry is forthcoming in The Closed Eye Open, Rogue Agent Journal, and Thimble Literary Magazine. She placed first in the national Hackney Literary Awards; the poem subsequently appeared in the Birmingham Arts Journal and she was a finalist in the New Millennium Writings Poetry Awards. She received a 2019 Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards Silver Medal for her debut picture book. As her writing notebooks seem to end up finding their way into different rooms, she is always finding both old pieces to revisit and new inspirations to work with. She is a current reader for the Baltimore Review. You can find out more about her writing by visiting: www.brachaksharp.com

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