Today we walked in the woods together, the ax hefted on my shoulder and the gun on yours. It was bright early and the snowfall was fresh, crunching under our boots. Our breaths came out thick and white, mingled together and disappeared up into the sky.
Continue reading “[Fiction] Dear Josephine”
A woodsman with his ax heft upon his shoulder
Grew weary in the heat of high summer
But his tired, weaving steps drew him to
A pool of water he’d never seen before
Although he’d come into the forest many a time.
A maid was washing her long hair
And her brother, for he wore the same face,
Only roughened as if by a finger on chalk,
Lounged upon a flat rock on the water’s edge,
Both naked as wildflowers in fierce bloom.
The maid beckoned with one curled finger,
“Come and sit a while with us.”
But the woodsman hesitated, chagrined
Until her brother smiled with the understanding
That men have between them of women.
The woodsman kept his gaze averted
From her body, carelessly displayed,
And found his attention wandering instead
To the male youth and his leonine eyes —
A cool green sharpened by yellow coronas.
He found himself echoing the brother
Who laughed when his sister said a witty thing
And gradually the woodsman found her words
Like the rustle of leaves in the breeze:
A backdrop wanting of more striking beauty.
The woodsman let the ax fall from his shoulder
As he settled near the twins and their presences;
They melted his harsh day’s work like liquor
And slipped him into sleep softly
As a kite wheels effortlessly in the sky.
When he awoke, the twins had disappeared
And in their place was a lone Narcissus
Bent towards its distorted reflection.
The woodsman thought of the male youth —
Weeping, he pressed his lips to the water and drank.