Allison DeLauer

Kyrie eléison


Your face is a page, please turn it

I can't remember what I've just read


Before I move on to the next lesson—

let's forgive ourselves these missteps


For example: I want to see the gold

shimmer within you, even though


you're covered in mud.


Do you want to see stars fall within me?

If not, should I care?


When my warmth echoes, don't

dampen these moments with judgment


You are only lashing yourself.

I'm told, with each separation


we solidify suffering. In other words

if I reject you, I reject myself


I believe, this cap ripped from a blue plastic bottle

reinforces our otherness. I collect


such artifacts of gross communal error

drink from them, shrug. When I trash you


I trash myself. When I let you thrash me

don't I compound your anguish?


Welcome to the crook of my heart, full

of this hurting-egoic—


So much shouting our planet eye rolls

at the sanctimonious wrong.


When we run from them, we run from ourselves


Instead, shelter in the shade of these almond trees

pink blossoms cling to their branches, let go


drift into the ravine— It's spring

Fear and shame are strangers here


I understand it now

if I privilege you, I inflate my own importance—


imperil of our shared enlivenment


We don't matter more than we do




My name is Allison DeLauer and I spent the quarantine in a small rural village in Abruzzo, Italy, under intense travel and movement restrictions that lasted from early March to early June. I had just moved to Fontecchio in December 2019 to help build an artists-in-residence initiative, in a community that has suffered depopulation in recent years. Aside from virtual time with friends and loved ones, the only physical human contact I had was with someone with whom I experienced an inordinate amount of conflict. While there were certainly beautiful moments with my quaranteammate (some snowfall, the river's sound, fires in the hearth, good food, drink, and full moons) it was overwhelmingly sad and difficult to disentangle from the abusive dynamic. I continued to navigate the adjustment to two new worlds—rural Italy with the sweet community here wherein I am building a home, and a world where Covid 19 continues to dominate our thoughts and limit our engagement. I spent the bulk of my days walking on empty trails enamored with the spring's unfolding; studying Italian, meditating, snapping photographs, writing, and reading. Meanwhile, I watched from afar as the protests and riots in response to the murder of George Floyd and the ongoing police brutality in the United States mobilized diverse communities around the globe to resist systemic racism and ongoing oppression. Hope began to grow, that collectively, we might find a new way of being in the world. Here is one poem that resulted from these inquiries and some images of the ground that welcomed me, and the trees that sheltered me. Please stay safe and be well.

Much Love, Allison