Her spine is intact,
hips wide sway like tree branches
in the breeze and hypnotize.
Somehow she still snuck up on you,
pounced, surprised you. Open eyes —
blink, and the void before you fills.
Eyes close — it opens up again,
The breeze grabs ahold of her spine
and shakes it like a tree trunk;
she dances in front of a fire
as campers look on, mesmerized.
Wild; they begin to call her wild.
She thinks their definition of wild
is turned on its head like their definitions
of barbarian and civilized.
Just because she feels the earth quake
in other countries, the death tolls
of war, disease, poverty, and hurricanes,
the birth of every child, and the rupture
of each heart in new lovers,
doesn't mean she understands the people
around her. Oh, the feelings are clear
and persistent like waves breaking
on the shore, onto her.
But the goals and motivations
remain a mystery.
In each person she meets,
she wants to ask rude questions,
true questions. The kind that may sting
fresh wounds. She always wants to pry,
but she usually bites her tongue
and slowly, like reeling silk,
pulls it out of them. At some point,
each apologizes as though they’ve said too much.
But these are the things she wants to know.
How someone has survived this life
tells more of a person than what they’ve accomplished.
In those jagged shards protruding
from their skin are the shiny pieces of mirror
she always sees herself in.
She is trustworthy, which is what surprises
you; It sneaks up on you. Eyes close —
& for some reason, there are stars
in the sky, blink — Open eyes;
she wraps her arms around your torso,
She is across the lawn, dancing
in front of a fire that looks like a dragon
reaching for the night sky,
and she is moving as though to summon
it’s intangible magnitude and rise,
and rise, and rise.
And you are petrified,
oh so terrified. She feels your heart
explode and shatter through the cold air
like a warm blanket from the dryer
radiating in all directions.
She turns around; your eyes meet.
Eyes open —
*originally published on 6/3/16