Skip to main content
By Joani Elliot

Words arrive at my doorstep.
Raw. Awake. Alive.
What can I offer to make them stay?
A clean room, plush towels—a soft bed?

No, they whisper. You are the room we want.
Weave us into your soul.
Let us become your breath, blood, bones.
Conjured, infused, enmeshed.

I close the door, unsure. The space I hold
Is clumsy,
Awkward and unsteady. Afraid to share.
To be misunderstood. Best to keep words

Out on the stoop, not entangled, not confused.
Yet I feel the longing, a stretching.
The scent of possibility.
If I crack myself open, if I let them in

Will they sink into my blood,
Spread warmth upon my skin?
Will they give me voice
For the ways I ache and question?

I want to feel them on my tongue,
need to swirl them in my mouth,
taste them, test them,
swallow them whole.

I open the door.



Joani Elliott is the author of The Audacity of Sara Grayson, which received the national STAR Award for Best Debut Novel by the Women’s Fiction Writers Association. It also received two Whitney Awards; the Praiseworthy Award in General Fiction by Latter-day Saints in Publishing, Media, and the Arts; and was named a Recommended Read by the Utah League of Writers. She received her MA in English from BYU in 2003 and has taught writing at the University of Maryland and BYU. Joani loves to research and speak about the magic of shared stories and the power of living a creative life.