Photo by Matheus Bertelli

a woman, finally, begins to lay herself down on paper;
feet first, their hewn skin 
and how they cling to faraway dirt:
you dance 
and spin through the trees
in unctuous rivulets of look at me 
I am here 
did you see?

the dirt clings to her, too,
those loud toes;
and how the gentle trees remember all good things.
here, you are still learning to love the mangroves,
the way they creep into the muddied water;
little woman, 
may your feet be steep as mountains
may you creep into the muddied seas
and dribble into the warm skies.
may you always be cracking smiles of look at me
I am here,
did you see?

may this island shield you from the wreckage of the hard world, 
may her grains of gray dust never settle in your lungs. 
do not stray far from my feet,
do not look into the water deep 
& dark, 
look to the trees
the careful reach of their many and groaning limbs
run to them and jump so goodly
into their pallid bodies of long and milky fingers
and how they change the shapes of you, sweet girl;
look at you, your many eyes,
you are here,
she sees.

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Kate Shannon
Kate Shannon is an organic farmer and editor from Upstate New York, where she enjoys long walks through the greenhouse and the excessive use of semicolons. Her work can be found in Anti-Heroin Chic, High Shelf Press, and The Blue Nib.