Desire

–by Leeland Seese

 

Barefoot seemed heroic

and romantic –

shedding boots and socks

to cross the Queets, the water

just a few degrees less menacing

than ice,

 

as stones

the size of suitcases,

others sharp as shivs,

bit and raked my feet

and toes with damage

I would feel

when circulation was restored

on the other shore.

 

Till I became a comedy

of mincing steps,

a symphony conductor’s

frantic thrash of arms,

to keep from tumbling

in the muscled currents,

 

all because a huckleberry bush

swished come-hither branches

in the corner of my eye,

then blushed at me,

its fruit a tease of lip-gloss,

orange-red.

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