The same question comes up every time.

“If it was so bad, why did you stay?”

And, every time, the same answers.

“Because I didn’t have the strength.”

“Because I didn’t know I could.”

“Because I loved them.”

That’s why I stayed.

Space Cowboys

Refiners of the new frontier, one day they woke, heads sporting helmets rather than hats. No longer rustling cattle, they surf the edges of the known. Like mighty giants, they forge a path for us. Leaving civilization behind to uncover something new.



I promised each of them, before we met, that I would never leave or give them up.

Trusting eyes in fuzzy faces. They do not understand my promise.

Somehow that makes it stronger. That they, unknowing, trust that I will always stay.

Someone gently rapping.

A fluke, a quiet, shuffling sound. The tapping came, unasked for, as I sat writing. A tap, a rap, and then silence. I checked, but I saw nothing. Back to writing, my pen, unguided by my hand, had scrawled out, simply, “HELP.”

Nudity: An Ode

warm winds touch bare skin
softer when it is
divested of restraining fabrics

water kisses more gently
the flanks we bare
so willingly

eyes see more clearly
into eyes
stripped of defenses

laid nude like
heroic marble
standing tall
and unafraid

Photo credit: Self portrait of a reclining Amelie Rives Chanler. (MSS 8925. Photograph by Petrina Jackson)

The Dissolution of Fear Itself

It eats at me
a gnawing thing
burrowing deep, it
settles into muscles
and organs.

I breathe it
into sentences
with you.

As I reveal it,
I feel it
Teeth and jaws
into bones
and sinew.

I’m fearlessly reborn.

Featured image from the Sleep of the Beloved series by Paul Schneggenburger.