Terrestrial Bodies

In the grove of trees there is total darkness, shrouded

by the curvature of the hills and concealed by the community

garden, the back of the baseball dugout, the stone wall

around the stone house. Why bother parking the car

when seclusion waits right there out in the open for us?

I teach you the practice before you learn the words.

I have dirt on my knees below the skin; I have a blanket of clover

pressed into the book of my hips, splayed with spine inverted.


In the hazel of morning, you are the only one allowed to touch my face

and I am the only one who can ask you to open your eyes. Adjust to the dark

and see where pale light remains in halo around the crown of the branches.

I’m surprised how softly you trill in your pleasure, breath harmonious

with the breeze, the insects, the distant world, the immanent earth.

You fell from the sky and now lie grounded in bliss and emptiness

and resilience. There could never be too much of you

or too long of a pause between questions.


Author: Julian K. Jarboe

Julian K. Jarboe is the author of the Lambda Award-winning collection Everyone on the Moon Is Essential Personnel.

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