blackbirdonline journalFall 2009  Vol. 8  No. 2
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Natural Bridge

Out across the limestone arch
it is gritty dark. Dusk holds crisply,
then fades. Secret fracture of support,
this bridge. Night’s heat
is lost in the plunge
from height, cold pockets
tumefied near the drop-off.

Spiders creep up each leg.
Let them. Am I fearless
or just naked fear now?
My skirt floats, thin specter,
material suffused
and circling tighter.

Firefly light flickers,
soft body flashes
in the blackness. I balance
between where it finds me
and shocks past.
The dark question of my mouth,
contrary to such muted current,
stays dark.

I must leave the bridge, climb
back through the forest’s seizing to meet
the clearing where I came from.

But I am inhabited,
the momentary
turning of my figure up the path so deliberate
it is not my carried self, my skin
translucent and vaporous. I enter
as if earned by this possession,
singed with my animal scent.
Mark me as soundless
and know I will remain that way.
Grip my throat’s white gulch.  end

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