Tidal Basin

Germination Detail Part III, by Leslie Shellow

contemplations about what stays in the net

Sunday, August 22, 2010


I met a woman who met me first. Her eyes landed on my shoulders like butterflies. I questioned the breeze on my ear when they took off again, not knowing its origin. The next thing I noticed was her voice; a low grumble between the branches, a chirp from behind a tree, the swish of breath rushing through a cedar flute. When she wasn’t speaking, I sensed her anyway. After a while, she didn’t need to look or speak. I just knew she was there and when I looked up, I always saw her and she always saw me.

She wrote me. I, her. Our words formed an original landscape, and nothing we wrote could change the presence of mountains or the inevitability of rivers that were to carve broad new channels. She wrote on my body questions I have yet to answer. Does love descend or ascend? Is it fashioned? Or does it appear a dolphin fin cresting a wave if only you scan the horizon long enough?

She rearranged me molecule by molecule so that many doors closed and only a few opened but those that opened led me directly to the place I was all along. She left; she had to, the taste in her mouth the bittersweet maroon berries of harvest, ancestral water-grass, and protein. She took nothing I didn’t offer gladly. If she were to arrive again in the wind or during a full moon, wolf or strawberry, I would thank her for what I became because her eyes landed on my shoulders, her voice whispered through the trees, our words formed an original landscape, and I saw a dolphin in an instant crest a wave and realized they never travel alone.

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