HELLO! I AM INSATIABLE FOR PERMISSION

The clouds split open and everything is bathed in light.
The light says, I love these leaves.
The light says, you’ve been swindled.
The light says, let me dry off these rocks.
The light says, hey where’s the dog?
The light says, astronomy! botany! investigative

journalism! astrophysics! chemistry! poetry! I am insatiable
for permission—it happens to some of us when our ancestors lived
and died by it—which is why I spend so much time being
innocuous. Hi,

I’m starved for history, for any idea what is going on
and why. What if I simply melt into that hill over there?
Then I would know why I was there. To collect light. To fill with rain
then dry all the way out. To wash myself slowly into the sea.
To ripple when tectonic plates scrape together and otherwise
stay still. To interlace myself with all beauty for all time. The problem
with being a hill is you can’t drink Diet Pepsi
whenever you want. But you know who can
drink Diet Pepsi whenever she wants? Britney Spears.
So, you know.

Instead of becoming a hill, I bury my boots in mud and struggle
to pull them out. The boots are my true self. In Michigan, in spring,
we took off our shoes and socks and waded knee deep in spring mud,
then got in trouble because something about grass seed, like
apparently a dad was trying to make a lawn there.

We didn’t care about lawns, we cared about being total goddesses
in springtime, in Michigan, about the squish of wet dirt,
about coming home dirty and tired and reborn, about
the Earth and the Divine. So, you know.

Audra Puchalski lives with many houseplants, three small dogs, and the love of her life in Oakland, California. Her poems have also been published in Superstition Review, Jokes Review, and Parentheses Journal, among others.