Keri L. Withington



One day, after my heart beats its last
in someone else’s chest and my eyes
close for the last time under
someone else’s lids,
their bones will be wrapped under six
feet of roots and clay,
will be a little mine, too, before
belonging to pines, worms, time.

When the water system washes cells away, and
nitrate rich drops nourish Bokhara, lucern, red clover.
As generations learn anatomy from your bones,
whatever is left of me will swirl with wind
thermals, congeal in rain drops, soak in starshine
to find whatever is left of you, quarks coalescing.

The same oxygen that once tinted our blood red,
let our chests literally expand in love,
drawn in by chlorophyll rich Dracaena, Quaking Aspen, phytoplankton
inhaled and exhaled from a million other lungs.

In this ever-expanding universe with millions of unseen
stars, I find forever.

The Empirics of Nature

I believed in fairies longer
than I believed in God:

lightning bugs, dragonflies, ragweed puffs
all served as proof.

Thought I saw one, once
tiny wings fluttering, flashes of light

mountainside where I still
camp on chilly April nights.

The sun hangs silver in the afternoon
sky there, hijacked by the moon,

only orange haze to betray it. Blue
mountain ridges make sunset sudden.

Invited to the Pack

hypnotic voices beautiful
insubstantial as the moon

light streaming through my bedroom
window twinkling of stars

dreams dissipated
branch scratched window screens

seductive feeling radiated
mornings warm hungry

whispered primal hour sang sweet
howling during every waking

roads slick shining
clothes clingy

relax in chair
purr on skin
kiss of claiming ink
chosen scars

fierce beautiful on back
voices in ears

I have become one.

i sing the body

skin salty
tips tracing
freckles form


See Orion stretch
across bicep
Dipper half hidden
under hair

Every scar tells a
story every single
See the 2nd grade chicken pox here
the appendectomy    there
the silver
stretch mark
growth spurt

tickle of
fine hairs
finger  nails


re      born

screaming into the silence
singing into stardust


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