Meat Beneath The Shell

Paul studied the map
of Ellie’s eyelids
during her mountainside
afternoon nap.

Sunlight might burn
those blood vessels
into her retinas
so he cast shade on her.

The nearby stream
carried this story toward the sea
and wondered how many miles
it would have to bear it.

As Ellie’s past lives gathered
they splashed barefoot in the stream
skirts and jeans hiked up
above their knees.

Paul daydreamed
a way into Ellie’s heart
and unintentionally moved an aspen grove
closer to the stream.

He pondered whether
to count this hour of Ellie’s sleep
as wasted or well used
or a nut snatched by a Stellar’s jay.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney

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