on the inhale, entering into The Grotto Labyrinth

Listening is exhausting.
We all know how to fix
other people’s problems.

If it were up to me,
everyone would wake up
and go to sleep on my clock,

eat cruciferous greens,
fast for 14 hours, and still
make time for pie.

Cruelty would be
a thing of the past.
But I need to turn

off the looping track
of my inner

It knows what
it knows and it
thinks it knows more.

Let me walk the
winding path in silence
until I find the exit.

Let my thoughts be
my tool and not
the other way ’round.

Let my ears clear,
unplugged of buds.
Let me hear.

With each step let me
watch my love grow
while I shrink.

Let love take
my place
in the space of things.


on the exhale, returning through The Grotto Labyrinth

there is no I

unless I am the petal
once the seed, humid,
fecund, and round,
full of promise, I

crept through wet
soil, rooted myself in
anchoring loam, certain
of my position

burst through skin
gasping for air
stemming skywards,
budding, blooming

loving myself along
with the bees
unfurling in glorious

fallen now, unsuspecting,
nurturing you, becoming we
not yet showing, but here
just beneath

sure as any hope

The Leavening

heat the water
pour it into the cup
sprinkle my cinders
on top of its surface
feed my crumbs to sugar
knead your fingers in my wounds
sing me Ave Maria
proof me

coat me with dormant flour
stir me with a hook
pound me
loave me
anoint my head with oil
cover me from light
and wait

with your help
I will raise high
above the surface
join with gluten,
egg, and water
an elastic, ecstatic union
bake me into light

About the Author

Amy Baskin’s work is currently featured in Bear Review, River Heron Review, and is forthcoming in Pirene’s Fountain. She is a 2019 Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, a 2019 Oregon Literary Arts Fellow, and a 2019 Oregon Poetry Association prize winner. When she’s not writing, she matches international students at Lewis & Clark College with local residents to help them feel welcome and at home during their time in Oregon.