Through the hotel wall a woman cries,

“I can’t do this anymore!” One soft life

in one small box in thirty-story boxes

across the city. She sends her alarm like

a cell letting the body know it can’t hold

up its part anymore. If I were a superhero,

I’d put my hand to the wall between us

and with my X-ray vision, I’d search her

heart like a surgeon of love, pouring light

from my palm through all the walls so they

could disappear for one long moment,

enough for her to heal herself. For I have

slumped against my own walls, unable to

continue. But I am only me. And so I put

my hand to the wall between us and draw

as much of her suffering as I can, the way

a shaman would suck venom from a

snakebite and spit it in the grass.

This excerpt is from my book, The Way Under The Way: The Place of True Meeting (Sounds True, 2016).

*photo credit: Unsplash

Originally published at