Ashley Valmere Fischer, Light Trails: Portola Valley Cluster (photograph)

Young enough were we,
once, not to fear lightning,
pressed to our cheeks
as we knelt in the rain.
In a new version
of this story, you’re still
kneeling. Featherless wings
of your fingers, flitting
under my shirt. All I can think is:
I’m a mother now. A body
without seasons. Show me
how we used to envy
rain, as it sought the storm
drains, only to resurface in a field
full of gnats. Teach me
how to hold you like water
cupped in my hands as a cure
for thirst. Let me forget, tonight,
we don’t know better
hours. The earth
that bends & breaks
as we sharpen the blades
of our bodies against
shadow that swallows light.


Chelsea Dingman