Issue Fifteen - October 2009

Beauty is a feeling

By Eleanor Burke

He fed me
the root of a licorice fern,
sheep sorrel, a soup
made from stinging nettles.
In the morning I did not feel
the same—earth had infiltrated
my blood,
my skin felt soft
as if covered in moss.
When I took a breath,
I tasted the forest.
When I sighed or gasped
or yawned
I felt the wind.
At night I dreamt
of hands calloused to the invisible
sting of the nettles,
of a step as silent as the deer
on the forest floor.
My eyes filled
with the deep green of the sea,
bald eagles flew before me,
giant kelp beat against the shore
and the otters,
came swimming back
in droves.

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