Ecdysis by Alice Foster


this is where you belong.

far from the hollow stomach of longing

and back into the light,

the light that has always been searching for you.

the light that gave you your name.

you will know it by the way it feels

against your skin:

whispered warmth searching like a mother

into every place that has been touched by neglect.

the light will run its fingers through your hair

and lift you from this withered shell.

do you remember what it is like?

to unfold your life

across your lap like linen

rinse off the scarlet stains

and dry yourself clean?


from the dimly lit room

i watch you rise from the bed

for the first time in weeks.

your frail body dripping with omens,

your movement like a cello being slowly plucked.

i pour you a glass of water and dress you in warm clothes.

the water barely touches your lips before becoming a pool on the floor

and you stare at me without expression, without language.

i want to lift you from beneath your arms

and whisper daylight into your mind and your chest and your stomach.

i want to give you  a new body.

to watch you approach life like an animal,

hesitantly at first, before becoming familiar with its scent,

until one day it gives you some food

and a name

and a field to chase the birds

and a river to wash the ache.


the horizon is a glass house

i will break through

like an iron bird

watch as my feathers sift

into ash, my veins pumping ruby fire

through every strand of dna


is a word my mother made

when she sewed me into the sacred chamber

of her body

and whispered unending life

into my motionless being.

tonight i will not cower

before the voices of dying gods.

tonight i will burst into christ red flames

and wear the sun like a shroud.

Alice Foster is a 21 year old Pisces poet based in Portland, Oregon. She is studying yoga and spirituality in India and will be releasing her first chapbook, “The Other Side of Eternity” in 2020.

instagram: @nebulahymns