Issue 14
Pain, Near the Heart

Love, was it under the lemon tree
the first time our eyes met
the wind quivering along the spines of the tall grass?
Or, was it by the catalpa
the first time our palms touched
the red sun on the wild poppies?
Love, was it under the street lamp
the first time your lips salted mine
the moon over your shoulder an amber amulet?

Or, was it in the open field
the first time we lay together
the cicadas restless, then silent, in the branches?
Love, was it in the busy intersection
the first time you held me to your heart
a hot wind slithering down the skyscrapers?
Or was it that same intersection
the first time you let go of me
sirens screaming in all directions?

Love, was it by the water
the first time your words stung me,
the sand and clouds a cauldron of chaos?

Or, Love, was it deep in the forest
the last time you turned your back on me
the wind pulling the curtain of night across the horizon?