Becoming Isaiah

Becoming Isaiah

Becoming Isaiah 150 150 Cailey Johanna

Burnt lips — altar food too hot
for my mud-stained soul.

I’m headfirst, fallen into adoration
by the presence of a thousand stars.
Not enough feathers to cover my eyes.

I can barely lift my head enough
to bite the hot coal presented to me.
When I do, I am pain all through;
pain bright as the hem of his robe,
purple folds enveloping me where I kneel.

Then all at once I’m draining away
like rainfall in a desert.
He’s looking back through everything
that I’ve ever been, finding mistakes —
my feeble attempts at perfection.
He knows strength is my greatest weakness;
he clears out the cobwebs I’ve kept and
pushes me deeper into him.

“Who will go?” he calls in waves.
I’m pulled upward, blinded again,
lost but getting closer to something,
brightness, all constellations in one.
I can’t even feel my lips moving,
but I’m nodding and shaking: “send me.”
Words slipping out of cracked, black lips.


Cailey Johanna

Cailey Johanna has been writing poetry since she learned how to speak. She grew up between Mexico and Colorado and is currently living in Vermont. She has been published in Willard and Maple, Rose Petal Review, and Prisma magazine. You can find more of her work by reading her blog: or through Odyssey Online:

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