Gingerly

Poetry

Rosa Tobin

Growing up,
pinwheel Wheat Fields spun
and light pollution danced
naked, golden—
my home.

In yellow vinyl, heavy
with bodies in the here and
now, worn with
do you remember when,
there was a safety—
the warmth of familiarity.

Then the Dogwood tree crumbled
with pipe and paper
and the taste of our names
on my tongue.
I was left reaching

for the blossom
ink pink petals,
round like my face;
for scar tissue, thick like molasses—
phases of matter in a measuring cup;
for the girl sitting on thin branches,
breathing seconds,
minutes, hours
like they were all ours.

Now our names are lost
in the pause.
Can you still taste them?

Years of blue and wonder bloomed
echoing through the foundation:
what’s that word, I forget sometimes,
it’s the one that means love has left your eyes.


I can’t pinpoint the moment
I changed my mind about the tattoo
and my face found edges.
I can’t pinpoint the moment
I learned scar tissue is soft and
must be weighed like flour,
not measured.
I can’t pinpoint the moment
I found the girl no longer sitting
on thin branches;
her legs only trust the air
when she is running.
Somewhere between
standing in a stranger’s house,
holding Clementines close to my stomach,
staring at the sides of our sixteen-year old dog
moving up
and down,
up and down,
I forgot to breathe.
I can’t pinpoint the moment
but I am fuller;
swallowing the moon
to see the stars
warm in time’s changing
light.



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