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


© 2020 - Natalie K. Stickel