a few small things

Jody Chan

chapstick. a new inhaler. jasmine tea, looseleaf, potted bluebells
on the counter. though the path is marked by muscle, by blister, blossom

by blossom, you will forget to number your mistakes, the sibilant
missteps between narrative and memory. bless

the fables your 姨媽 told about your mother, the basil
keeping sunlight company in the windowsill. bless

the linden earning gold its name. bless
yourself at six. at seven. even if the bells

sang and you never left home. even if the clocks melted, the blinds
wouldn’t close. even if you wore your blouse

like a puppy’s mouth, open to the world. you need not be blameless
to be worthy of this blessing.

you fill all songs with shades of blue. you love the ballerinas
leaves make of themselves in November. consider it possible

that you, too, are beloved. simple as that.
that for someone in this life, you are a balm. a ballast.

before word or gesture, still a scribble
in your mother’s body, you chose yourself, and isn’t that a blessing

too. even if you can’t remember. bless the blastocyst, bless
the silent labour of becoming. bless a simple, honest slumber.

bless the night with no bloodlettings.

妹妹— let your breath seek its own balance.
your life is not something that needs to be earned.

Jody Chan headshotJody Chan is a writer, drummer, organizer, and therapist based in Toronto. They are the author of haunt (Damaged Goods Press), all our futures (PANK), and sick, winner of the 2018 St. Lawrence Book Award. They can be found online at jodychan.com and offline in bookstores or dog parks.