They said I came from the ocean, plucking obsidian
from my hair. Green algae, quartz, rubbing diamonds
from the corners of my eyes, shaking stardust from my ears.


No one knew me but water, ageless and breathless,
absolving me from grief. All the world carried me as I melted.
I once thought I married the moon. Foolish me, when


it was his brother of forgetfulness, the tides.
They thought me disloyal and buried me in the world,
which was to say, I lived. Once, there was a me, deeper


in a womb, I came to be. Once, I had a mouth,
which moved recklessly. Each time I touched
a thorn, I dared to love. I became more human.


I roamed the earth, joyous beside the tree,
a veil of bees hooded me. I hear the march
of sticks and limbs, acorns fall to a vibrant


drumbeat, a whim. I am wedded to the first song,
instructing me to begin. All the while,
love blazed more urgently than I remember.


I do recall my people, too tender to be true,
the last years a reminder we are as dispensable
as a wish, as even as a knife blade.


Once, I sat on the ground and wished. I poured
handfuls of air onto my crown and named it grace.
I granted all the creatures pardon, and embraced


the solitude of the crane. High above it flew
as if it knew me well. Someone I loved once,
I would never see again. Father,


I think you are the deer next to me I never touched.
It ran in fog and ventured forth without me.
Before it left, it turned to look at me, flesh quivering


not from fear but from knowing it could choose
to disappear. Father, you are the fog over the bank,
you are the leaves tumbling down the farthest hill,


the vines that keep reaching beyond what is real.
Oh, when I woke everything I ever loved was on fire.
Oh, illiterate moon, write me into the pages of your dream.


All my stones, all

my winter stones,

beneath me

the rushing water,

the outstretched

pinnacle of my hand,

my eyes in wonder.

I think I know you.

I think I loved you

once. Long ago,

I promised to never

again to commit myself

to your grief

and disrepair

for the craven hunger.

Oh my land, it stretches

out. I touched the depths.

I relinquished a power.

I no longer need to know.

I journey. I walk in circles.

Forward or backward

I meet myself

at the beginning. 


I had a barrage of roses tangled in my brain,
which is say I was taken with this fragrance,
bedeviled with the bee’s pollen and night grace,
I desired and wanted all at once, which is the same
reservoir where my childhood drank, from a pond
stationed in the backyard of my memory.
The struggling grass and the swinging tire,
glass bottles set beside the fence as flowers.
My mind returns here where refuge
was the promise of growth instead
of the bloom itself. Thus, I was a child of rust,
browning at the interior, with a scent of floral
determination. You’ll sometimes find me there,
too, as a lion, the day’s dandelions in my mane.
If there was a roar, it shuddered the puddles
which shook in delight. If there was stalking
it might have been by the train tracks, which never
functioned except sometimes there was a
faint bell at night, sometimes signaling
someone about the touch lightly on the runner.

Back to Issue

Infrequent email notifications