A tentative wilderness
I put my hands in the dirt
and so do you. We walk for miles,
wade through water, cover each
other’s wounds without speaking.
I bite my tongue as always
and skip a stone across the surface.
The brush entangles our ankles
and dust settles as fast as my feet
can kick it up. At night the embers
of a fire glow softly on our faces
as I map the stars for you, hesitantly.
Gentle heat wards off familiar cold,
I open my bag on the boundary
to reveal the hidden things;
I sketch the landscape in the dark
and you listen to poetry like it’s music
and hear the words you never said.
by Emma McCoy
Editor’s Note: After an invitational opening line, this poem transports the reader into the wilderness with exquisite detail—and really, isn’t that precisely what a relationship is?