In the Woods
I lie in a bed of leaves. A salamander slips. Ants enter my ear. Dusk-mosquitoes feast. Sleep is coming. I am in the quiet. Still. A doe crosses the setting sun. Her shadow falls on me. She gazes, then flicks her ear. Scents of autumn: smoke from a far camp, freshwater lake, fallen trees, mud.
I am part of a landscape now. My bones will uphold nature. No one knows. No one will find my words, as I speak with the softest breath. I speak so that only God can find me amongst his creatures. There is no path—I broke no branches to get here. It is almost as though I flew! I left no trace of humanness in my wake. Identity gone and no inheritor. A great paintbrush in my hand spread white across the sky, erasing a storm.
I will die as the moon rises. This is good news! My chest tightens. A great palm clutches my heart and releases it. A snake slithers near my ribcage. He comes to my mouth to share breath. I exhale all that is in my lungs. When will my last breath be? I tempt a kiss—the soft flick of viper-tongue. What does it matter now? More breath. In my nakedness, there is an unpleasant cold. My heart is rampant and pained. Gasp. Choke. Spasm. God, come, quickly! I shake apart my earth-coffin and involuntarily rise to my feet.
©2016 Clare L. Martin