— for ML

I cannot hide beneath morning’s
blue skirts — a wavering child
when haybales become torsos
littering the field, when twigs
each become a rib. If only

The hill hadn’t heaved
it’s last breath into the sky
and built a tree there. If only.
If not for Appalachia and the parting
— the welt.

Where then does a kiss go
when it leaves your lips,
when I can cup your face
in my palms but not close
them in prayer?

I found a flicker’s yellow shaft
in the grass today, as a speckled
fawn slipped in among the cornrows.

Image: Jan Huber on Unsplash

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