I sit here on this sandy beach next to a stray dog.
A brown furry creature with sad brown eyes
Looking for a mother, or a lover to pat his head into sleep.
How I want to swim in the beaches muddy waters, unclean
For the body to languish in its liquid, lit up by a starry sun.
And I know to stretch my laurels, lean & gloriously in love
Underneath the canopy of Malaga with its peace of mind.
The empty beach leans into me like a circle of strange friends.
No one is alone— the wind rubs against my hair blowing sand
Into my lips, kissing a soft yellow light like a silk scarf, warming my skin—
A brown Malibu Barbie-doll like skin, getting browner.
I’m immortalized. No one stays sad— the disease of racism hasn’t won.
I’m irradiated, the son of God has reached my bones, holding
Onto them like a firmament. The hostel concierge, a clown hasn’t won.
I’m not scared of his seeming kindness, the way he unlocks the hostel room door—
And the way I’m relieved; he hasn’t sullied me.
I’m God in my universe; he isn’t God in his.
Lisa Rhodes-Ryabchich is an adjunct English professor at Westchester Community College, author of the short story "Retribution On Cash Street" published by Not Your Mothers Breast Milk & another short story “Sunday’s At Yankee Stadium” by Kairos Literary and “Moving On”forthcoming from Drunk Monkeys. She has two poetry chapbooks “We Are Beautiful Like Snowflakes” & “Opening the Black Ovule Gate” & in 2021 a full-length collection of poems "Breaking Out of the Cocoon" was published all with
http://www.finishinglinepress.com. Another full-length poetry book "Peripeteia" was published in 2020 & a third full-length collection "How You Get to There" in 2021 & in 2022 “Dear Blue Harp Strumming Sky” all from CyberWit.net. She is writing her second novel “The Yellow House Of Unpardonable Ghosts.” She was a 2016 fellow at Martha's Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing. She has a MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. Some of her poems are forthcoming or have been published by Support Ukraine Anthology, Sunflowers, Ekphrastic Literary, Artemis, Dash Literary, Chaffey Review, Journal of Poetry Therapy, Kairos Literary, Medical Literary Messenger, Better Than Starbucks, Obsidian III, Phantom Drift Literary, Prachya Literary, Destigmatized: Voices for Change, Talking Writing, Gather Round, The Literary Nest, Burning House Press, & elsewhere. Her poetry blog is