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  • Marías at Sampaguitas

Poem by LE Francis

Gray sky, empty page

I love the way he rocks back & forth

like an aspen tree with tilted arms

& hair flickering in the light as it dances

around the bow, bent in a song of driftwood

& waves & motion that cannot be

stopped but is always changing;


I love the space in her voice, the emptiness

between the lines, collapsing intervals

of sound & silence that make the world

seem contained, small & safe, walls within

walls which hold my frail body close

& separate from the sky with all its vast

nothingness that reminds me of my own.


I love the color of his eyes, a wash of metal

& rain & damp like old mirrors left

in former hotel rooms holding the colors

of the summer when they cracked, so much

beauty there where hope wasn't, spending

the afternoon mourning a stranger’s long-ago

death while friends cooked hot dogs

on a dirty Los Angeles windowsill.


For all this feeling, I sometimes wish I could feel

anything else, unrooted from this internal eternity,

longing for change & separateness & lost causes,

anxious leviathans built to patrol the ocean

that swept in between the world & me, all

while I was daydreaming, wishing I could feel

as satisfied within another set of arms as

I am when building with my own;


Ever unsure if it’s touch itself that chills me

or the sea & the sky & pet monsters

that call the gales down whenever I start to feel warm. LE Francis is a writer from Washington State. Find her online at nocturnical.com.

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