The Garden by Michelle Mogannam

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Narrated by Michelle Mogannam

The Garden by Michelle Mogannam
Illustration by Sue Babcock
It was the beginning of the beginning
When love tasted its skewed self
And the chimes began to clang;
You appeared fast like lightning, 
And I jumped in. 
We muddled in our joy.
Blinding light exploded into pieces
Entrenching us between time 
And the pool of liberation.
Feeling every atom make its way deep into our being,
We kept falling into each other, and the clouds fell with us.
Here we were.
We parked the car in a field of gold,
Everything was lucid unpolluted lust,  
Our breaths reaching the sky:
O so very high.    
O so very blue.
          Take my hand, don’t let go, I said,
          We are in a place where we can see 
          Our hearts enfold.

The day ruptured,
The sky collapsed,
And the wind showed us the song of youth
As the sea swallowed us whole
Leaving a disheveled outline of a rootless destiny.
Your eyes sparked a circle of fire
That would soon burn us to the ground.
I dared not jump out,
Nor did I have any intention to.

          It’s so amazing here, I said,
         With the tepid taste of your skin against mine
         And the way your hands clasp a beating butterfly
         That just broke through the cocoon.
         Let it be free and 
         Fly, Fly, fly away— 
         Aesthetic things do not need cages. 

The canvas spread out like a hazy dream
Staggering in the footsteps of forgotten love
That went swaying on in the night. 
The stars galloped at the lips of a lost soul.

          I went searching for you 
          While the dust was thick and my heart thin.
          I know you’re scared, I see your whispers,
          Do you see my face through the…
          Come back, 
          It’s a wasteland down below, can’t you see?
          I’m with the leftover smoke up in the trees.
          Come back,
          Bound me in your thoughts
          And take me intertwined 
          With you.    

BIO: Michelle Mogannam is currently a high school teacher at Summit Shasta, a public charter school in Daly City, CA. Michelle received her degrees in in Philosophy— Bachelor’s of Art (San Jose State University) and a Master’s (San Francisco State University). She taught Introduction to Logic classes and studied Martin Heidegger, a renowned 20th century continental philosopher. Her thesis, Dasein and  Sciences: A Reply to Haugland’s Reading of Being and Time, became an important milestone in her life; however, she always envisioned herself writing poetry while teaching. Michelle discovered poetry when she was about 15 years old and it has been the backbone of her spirituality. She once compiled a book of 50 poems for a Body, Mind, and Spirit class she took in college.