We crisscrossed the country
twice, stitching together a geography of home
from back roads and interstates,
and those mile markers between us.
Along the avenues of Philadelphia, we were two
palms pressed together, fondling
renegade freedom in the cracks between
what we'd been and who we'd become.
We were intrepid, traveling winding two tracks
up a mountain’s steepest slope, until
we slid into a snowdrift, and
let loose our fear with laughter.
Atop the world, we were gorgeous, flinging
desire over crested hills into the fertile valley where
we imagined a hearth of stone and fire
and the fields we might unearth one day.
I had never been so in love.
With you, silence was easy as girls
on street corners. You were a short skirt,
bare thighs and belly rising, falling
as you stretched into a single word. And
you were all angles and dangerous
ledges where one footstep might send me
plummeting into the canyon and colors of you.
How many times I shifted whole landscapes just
to be in your proximity, how many times
you broke through mantle to crack
the core of me. This is the sum
of my wanting what couldn't be
possessed: earth and sky, the trembling
of our lips parted to breathe one another.
You are water rushing over the rocks of me
into a suddenly still river, where we waded
barefoot upon smooth stones.
That we return and return to each other
is evidence of faith only in what is:
Wherever you fall, I will follow.Wherever you rise, I will break surface.
©Ami Mattison, 2011
Flickr photo courtesy of sabrina's stash