Poem, “Retreat Wounded,” published in First Literary Review-East.
Retreat Wounded We made the best of a gray day, playing explorer on a riverbank not far from the road. You hunted heart-stones, ones that I’d fill in a bamboo bowl. Bluegrass music floated down from an upriver camp, reminding us that we weren’t alone. You called to me, and I went to you to look at the blood on the rocks. Some attack, some fight, some animal survived and retreated wounded into the forest. We followed a ways, until I said that we should go back, concerned about us, about you, to where we were wandering. You wanted to press on, concerned about hurt, wanting to repair. I won, letting nature take its course. We returned to the car, returned to the hotel. I ordered us wine and massages. Late that night, you spoke your truth to the dark: “you should’ve let me help.” Your stones, sink-washed, dried on a towel in the bathroom.