The Dance

by Garrett Mostowski

You shouldn’t be dismayed
you have to start all over.
From the top,
as our instructors say. 

Begin again. 
Once again.

Look at the lily growing at your feet,
the pink and purple petals wilting before withering away,
the stem already softening, collapsing, and flopping into its grave,
It’s becoming exactly what it once became—nothing
but a pulpy bump of a bulb. 

Why wouldn’t you be the same?

Your face is a petal, 
wrinkling into an empty, ashen gray. 
Your back is the stalk 
doubling over and over ‘till it breaks.
And, your body is dust 
occupying empty space.

Begin again.
Once again. 

We are always new
and always 
passing 
away. 

For Sarah


Garrett Mostowski’s work has appeared in or is forthcoming from the Galway Review, Clerestory, Geez, Macrina, the Princeton Theological Review, and others. He is a second year doctoral candidate in theology and creative writing at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. He’s co-pastor of Fort Street Presbyterian Church in downtown Detroit, Michigan.

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