"Storms" by Karyn Thurston



You’ve spent a long time now quieting storms.
Sacrificing your fists to open-palmed service to the sandbag walls you build against your anger,
clinging to roots in the cellar secretly hoping the house will blow down.

I am skeptical of your smooth waters.
I would like to bear witness to the weight of your flood.

Forgive me – I’d also like to curl sideways with you on Sunday mornings.
Stay in bed for the hell of it.
Lie still on the sand and count stars.
I would like to sleep in the melodic lull of your heartfelt conversations. 

I would like to rest and belong in the calm lilting hull of you, but too long now

You have been quieting storms.

I’ve seen you swallow lightning,
watched the shock sting drip down the length of you, cringed at the electric hollow acquiescence of your empty yes,
sang along with the full bellied desperation songs you sling to drown out the thunder,
sat like a child at the foot of the stories you tell to dispel the tsunami rising that’s flooding your floor.

And you have been looking for love that will wrap around you like safe basement walls.
Love like a hatch anchor to shut out the wind rage.
Love that will lock up the doors and take you into its mouth whispering,
“It’s okay, sugar, all your noise will never find us in here.”

There is more to love than safe haven.

Love is the homestead ripped from its hinges, swirling and ready to ride you to Oz.
Love wants to open the catastrophe you carry beneath your collarbone.
Love wants the riot of your betrayals and the resentment of your scorching rebellion.
Love demands you seething, the sweat and swell of you, the charlatan darkness, 

the powerful shame of your low, your most brutal unlovable natural disaster of a soul.
Love seeks the tornado wound of your segregation because
Love wants you reconciled and holy 

and the morning-after rest of your body weary with survival.
Love is the nourishing sleep of the truly alive.
Love is the fearless-open-peaceful.
Love is the woven-only-whole.
Love is the burden and flood of you.
Love is the storm, and only after you’ve freed it,
Love is the rainbow.

See, desire is a skeleton I was told to keep in her closet,
but you are the crookedest stubborn key.
You are the kiss that will wake her.
You are Sunday mornings
and the hurricane that rips off the door.




Karyn Thurston is a writer, mother, and adventure-seeker based in San Diego, CA. She writes about her daughter and their messy attempts to live and love well on Instagram @girlofcardigan , and co-hosts weekly conversations about losing bad religion and finding out what’s on the other side at www.heathenpodcast.com