Instruction: Our Next Lifetime

Catherine Esposito Prescott

When karma brings you back around, I want you to find me, so we can travel to southern Spain again. You won’t eat octopus. I won’t eat it either, but we’ll feast on all the olives and the flesh of blood oranges. When you come back, I want to trace the last vestige of tomato sauce from your plate, lapping it with crusty bread. I’ll learn the slang of my ancestors next time. I want to tell you dirty jokes in their native tongue. When you come back, find me scattering red rose petals, white jasmine flowers, and lotus buds in a temple while thinking your name. Find me on a beach at sunrise. Find me walking the shore, stepping around broken shells. Find me racing down a city block. Find my body moving in the direction of its longing. Find me plunging into oceans, into rivers, and lakes. Find my eyes scaling mountains. Find me whispering to the sacred ficus tree in my backyard, every word moving like song up the tree’s spine from canopy to roots. Find me tying gold threads and glass bracelets around the tree. Find me planted there. Next time around, press your ear to the ground. Feel my voice calling you.

Catherine Esposito Prescott is a writer, yoga philosophy teacher, and co-founder and editor-in-chief of SWWIM Every Day. The author of the chapbooks Maria Sings and The Living Ruin, her recent work appears in Green Mountains Review Online, NELLE, Pleiades, Spillway, Stirring: A Literary Collection, and Verse Daily.