Tributaries: "yosemite"

By Mia DeFelice

after Daughter, “Switzerland”


forestmaker. two halves making home.
            breathe wanderings onto my wooden spine / my grateful tongue.

curling like chimney gasp / twirling greyscale /
i’m calling you home in a small way. joining sounds yet
unbirthed. hovering somewhere between sentient / soldered.
the air is younger here. your sweater doesn’t do enough.

recall — we two flames lengthwise on single bed,
shotgunning sighs. cabin boy / vapid boy / prayers wreathed round
bed posts, as string lights.

we walking barefoot through holocene / minted mountain passes /
mulch like ice chips under toes — then we amongst pines / shifting scents /
chimney gasp obscuring you from me —

            treading light on parables rooted deep in dawnlight / gentle
            on bare branches — trees you scaled as child / as sketched
            limbs clutching white bark. my heart beating off half-formed
            ribs / you a braver conflagration than i —

                        and you wearing a white soiled shirt / smile seeks
                        relief / red dewdrops and stitches made by your
                        mother’s impatient / disappointed hand / known
                        quantities in smudged stockings / scratched kneecaps —

i would hold you if i could.

i hold your sounds instead. in small iced hands / mittens covered raw /
keep heat in / keep you in. i watch icicles form on your
rosebud lips / spider lashes / aching ears /
we foliage-fragile / fracture-frostbitten / chimney gasp at first white light —

                                                            we two halves. we come home.