Tidal Basin

Germination Detail Part III, by Leslie Shellow

contemplations about what stays in the net

Monday, September 19, 2016

Pull Back

So I pull back so you can move forward
So I don’t get in your way. In ours.
Because we have headway to make
Territory to chart
We have the rivers and mountains of my body to forge and climb and descend.
I don’t want to lose you
To this perpetual feeling I have of love.

Can you lose someone to love?
I have.
And in that loss, comes a worry that I will never get close to that which I desire.

So I pull back as we move forward.

Please don’t take it personally.

I am trying to survive us. I am trying to survive what I am beginning to feel.
And I am trying to enjoy it along the way.

Sunday, September 18, 2016



 My heart is breaking.

 The same fissure along the same fault lines.

 The approach to the volcano is well-worn. The heat, predictable. The explosion, a roiling sound in the throat of the

But this time, I turn and walk back along the greening trail until the lava rocks are covered and hidden.

I leave a stone, a feather, a red string
where I would have placed my heart.
and I walk away



the rest of my life.

Monday, August 22, 2016


I miss a lot of things.
Like the sound of your heartbeat through the machine that kept you alive. Or was it the picture of a line dipping and climbing, which looked loud, like a sound?
And I know I would have heard silence had it flattened out
But it didn’t.

You did.

And (take credit), your exit was indistinguishable from the dawn
and my earphones recorded the motion of breath in each song,
so many breaths before I noticed / you were gone.

O.K. That is a lot for a short moment
that lasted less than a second
of breath.


And where were you in all of this?
Recording sound and breath and absence like you owned it.


Stipulations say that details in absentia cause misdemeanors of flight.
You left without warning,
the tarmac still warm from releasing your traction

Come back and I will explain how you never were supposed to leave like that
without me.

New Vision

She has coins dangling around her belly in a string of silver chain. She moves to an old song. She is a gypsy.

How she recognizes me, I will never know. She sees me out of the corner of her mascara-ed dark eye behind a ringlet of black hair across a room full of tables, some with food; others empty.

She shakes, shimmies, and glides up to me. She offers her hand and does not take it back when I extend mine. She’s light in her step and heavy in her hips. Her belly sings a million songs. I hear my name in one of them.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Sanctioned Touch

You are allowed to touch me
In a manner of exploration, like someone discovering land for the first time
 Or discovering the nature of a water system.
You are allowed to drink me in
and find out where the eddies are and
where the waves break and wet
your face.
You are allowed to touch me
because I am under your care
Because I am patient.

I am allowed to receive
Drinking in your touch
understanding that your fingers will find places
I’ve ignored
And your explorations will yield
information for my own journey,
information I’ve tried gallantly to extract
from tight rock
And your fingers will become wet with
my melting
and you will say
it is okay to heal.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Cuba, Yoga, and Love

I am re-posting a link to an interview I did with Michelle Embree on my memoir-in-progress, UNDOCUMENTED. Thank you, Michelle, for your thoughtful questions and for such a lovely opportunity to reflect on this work!


Tuesday, March 8, 2016

In The Middle of Time

blue jeans
frayed at the edges
like waterfruit
seedy and split
exhausted by
the day,
or was it
the night?
pooling in a
dark corner
of the room where the
highway buzzes outside the
motel suite--
a luxury
this place in
the middle of