Artwork © Mysti S. Milwee

Heart’s Flickering Flame
For Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Part I

I want nothing more than to go now.
I hear your wind from the forest angel.
I hear your mind through the tapestry of time
Your locus pasture pattern forever
You witnessed chimneys, crimes
You dedicated art to end suffering, suffrage,
with your lonely labors absorbed in hope,
but in the end
you were absolved by the grave ghost
in scabious heaven.
O how I am up to my ankles in heaven
I’d like to be here for a while
Old and blissful grow
into the fury, midnight row
oars, travel my ocean, your ocean of tears
shed in the ocean
Your ocean
I plant scabious heaven in Israel
as you tread Stygian nephesh stars.
Israel is home, and home is the heart.

Part II

You fought voices who claimed empty prison camps
from Brooklyn voiceboxes
who stabbed the blood
from us,
your scarlet-bodega heart
wrapped beauty, determination and justice
around phosphoric years,
stars & nightingales at your waist.
You never wasted a second, but I did
and “sorry” doesn’t suffice for scars,
doesn’t justify celestial-oak tears
mourning your memory.
Heaven’s mighty altar won’t cease whispering thistles.
Your very bridge, an inkblot path,
as you ascend Yeshiva Mountains Infinite
and walk these halls, these meadows of magnificent memory.
Please take a last good sigh with orchards of forgiveness
as mother blows out the candle;
help me grow into a new year.
Guide this perplexed star
with Teshuva to honor your cherry-blossoms
despite primrose ghost dream-catcher
who haunts beneath your feet,
blistered by the deep,
disturbed as lonely sunset below shaded art.

Part III

When will heaven ever repent
for the sorrow of tomorrow?
Must I wash my hands
away from this Earth,
blistered by railway-track lies and
heavy flashlights bandaging bondage,
warping life’s train,
awaiting perpetual denial to bellow
from deep down?
underneath moss, stone arches,
wandering light?
The fading mosaics bright…?

Part IV

There are feelings in the back of my throat.
Sometimes they rub against my uvula.
I’m not a fan of wailing from mountaintops.
But sometimes I am forced into freedom.

I am treading lightly from now on.
I am making a covenant with You,
my God.

I will not wait for You to avalanche the
I cannot wait for the sand
to slip through my hands,
for the sound of thunder
to send me from my post.

I must descend into the trail of darkness
to walk You into this world.

Joshua Corwin, a Los Angeles native, is a neurodiverse, Pushcart Prize-nominated poet and Spillwords Press Publication of the Month winner. His debut poetry collection Becoming Vulnerable (2020) details his experience with autism, addiction, sobriety and spirituality. He has lectured at UCLA, performed at the 2020 National Beat Poetry Festival, and his Beat poetry is to be anthologized alongside Ferlinghetti, Hirschman, Ford, Coleman and weiss late this year (Sparring Omnibus, Mystic Boxing Commission). He hosts the poetry podcast “Assiduous Dust” and teaches poetry to neurodiverse individuals and autistic addicts in recovery at The Miracle Project, an autism nonprofit.

Mysti S. Milwee is an International award-winning and published synesthesia artist (paints to music), poet, writer, book cover illustrator, and screenwriter from Southside, Alabama. Her art and poetry has been used for academic and ministry studies across the globe. Her works appear in over 2,500 publications worldwide. She is the editor, publisher, and translator of Sequoyah Cherokee River Journal and the forthcoming S.L.A.T. Magazine.