halcyon horizon

I gaze over the river

from a century-old bridge,

gripping the rails

as the last light dims.


halcyon horizon

on the tip of my tongue,

it burns and it sizzles

with all that I was.


a luna moth trembles

at the edge of the rain,

drying her wings

to take flight again.


blisters and cracks

in the crease of my hands

from fear overcome,

from knowing i can.


cuts and bruises

from rocks far below,

imprinting their lessons

on knees and elbows.


they resemble the marks

from a different sense of dread,

one that still rattles

around in my head.


but its echo is fading,

the reverb stretched out.

replaced with a whisper

that dampens self-doubt.


a brown water snake

glides back and forth-

graceful in current,

fixated on the shore.


she's used to shedding layers-

stripping off old and worn,

seeing through new eyes,

finding a use for thorns.


gold now turns to lavender,

day blends into dusk.

the whisper reassures me,

let's peel back another husk.


richmond, virginia, sunrise

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© 2020 - Natalie K. Stickel