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  • Writer's pictureClaire Atella

A Promise of Presence

When I fool myself, I find

My foundation is shaking;

The ground under my feet splits

And darkness seeps up 

and out of the earth;

The smog of past regrets

curls and unfurls

Enfolding me in a restricting embrace;

The brooding cloud softens to fog

Obscuring the future, and doubt

Seeps into my bones.

Tracing the trail of misery,

The source eludes me:

It is not external.

When fears are bundled in truths,

Laughing in tandem with the 

shuddering of my soul,

A restless spirit takes up residence,

Fervent with longing,

Overflowing with dissatisfaction.

Chaos’ court reigns:

What once was sweet is bitter,

Sorrow is joy’s epilogue.

Further and further I drown

In my callous words, chromium-hard,

Dripping like acid into my bloodstream.

Scrabbling to stop this insanity,

My efforts produce more discontent:

A cancer of the spirit.

When I am at my sickest,

I am overcome with anguish,

Of which I know not how to escape;

From the recesses of childhood 

a steady whisper:


Piercing through the tenebrous cloud,

You patiently guide me 

Through the treacherous terrain.

Your comfort abounds and

Incomprehensible peace 

Flows over me, but

In my stumbling stubbornness,

I listen to the lies and

Stare into the abyss, yet

You hold me close

Intoning again and again:

You are precious. 

You are loved.

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