forget the malleability of flesh

‘twas brave, the woman
who wandered up a winding path of
crispy leaves
toward a glowing distant peak.
and as her gaze
took in the lowering
of the sun she felt a shiver scuttle
up her spine, not
for fear of darkness or
of solitude,
but for the unrelenting cold that creeps
with dusk’s farewell
into her bones and lingers
long past dawn, a thorough chill
in which she steeps until-
forgetting
the malleability of flesh, the stinging tingle
that accompanies heat-
she neglects to move at all,
and curls instead into a ball
at the foot of a quaking aspen tree,
where she sinks into
the wilderness;
forever alone and finally free.

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[no title]

magic lurks
in the space between fragility
and resiliency. A living
being, an uncertain
future, exhaustion, the refusal
to quit. One breath, one phone call
one bite at a time-
a constant tension
impossible to ignore
the strike
of the clock that stands
by the door
impossible to ignore,
impossible to ignore.
the strength of her hands
once inconsequential
impossible to ignore impossible
to ignore impossible to
ignore

unbearable

There were words spoken
out of turn
and a sharp twist of truth sprang out
ugly, unwanted, embarrassing- the very thing
that was supposed to be disguised
appeared boldly and she-
left voiceless and without
the opportunity to shift
her weight in preparation
for attack- tripped backwards, slipped
behind her words and left
without us noticing, while her body remained
at the table, quietly listening
to nothing at all, her eyes
carving alibis
into each breath

Frog Noses

Mommy holds
my hand
very tight
asks something about a ‘prognosis’
makes me think of frog noses
I giggle, she squeezes, brows
furrowed. I bite my lip.

Later, licking swirly soft serve in a race
against the hot hot heat, she stares
over my shoulder
fist tucked
under her chin, her spoon
forgotten halfway to her mouth.

I want to tell her
she’s dripping on the table-
she hates when things are messy-
but I keep quiet, scared
of her sighs, of the silence
and of her empty eyes.