In her thirties the poet acknowledges she is gay

Amanda Hawkins
In dreams I speak to people
I cannot yet speak to in daily life—
behind me an amorphous black
splash flinging itself in all directions,
or, a prism, top blown off, a hard
stream of light fire-hosing up
from the opening. My priest says
this is not a time to be impulsive,
this is a time to be intentional, slow.
My therapist asks if
it is possible to hold this newness
and not take action. Daily, I choose
to wrap my arms around my own body,
tap ten times the indents
under my wings. The other day
I pierced my nose with moonstone—
good, I read, for opening
the heart. I keep searching
for a minimalist zodiac tattoo—
all circles, triangles, and dots—
explained why to my uncle
with a description of the Eucharist:
outward sign of inward grace, how
in all my visions I am still
slow to speak, but I do speak,
and I take as long as I need.

Amanda Hawkins holds a MA in theological studies from Regent College in Vancouver, Canada. She is a Bread Loaf and Tin House Scholar, a three time Pushcart nominee, and the winner of the 2018 Editor’s Prize for Poetry at The Florida Review. Her work can be found in Boston ReviewThe Cincinnati ReviewThe Orison AnthologyOrion, and Terrain.