One day, will it go away? The river I feel for you. One day, drifts away 3 more, and the current pours – thick as tree roots, ropes, gnarred and nourishing tubes, a far contrast to all the time I’ve laid hovering, figmented death (a loss of color), a hand you can’t shake from your shoulder. She drips, a dangling drawcord, this same spot, eerie center, now – not cold, but a natural temperature. A river you pour – hovering – heart-high – arms splashed in mist – to me, a gentle kiss. From which we branch 3 more.


Missed messages, skimmed surfaces – like cutting foam off the top, a subtle sip of dad’s beer (behind backs). We’d rather be hiking, without service, cell-phone-free, you can’t reach me. A politicians answer, no strings attached, don’t string me along. One way streets, carved groves in the land, your hands, snapping branches, bushwacking, twigs snapping, a single lamp through the trees, she cries out to me, high pitched - push alerts pulsing, keep out, cell-phone tower trespassing, mailed ticket violations –       

Ping! How’d they find us?

Tunnels shooting  - mixed messages.


Earthen features, mini islands to climb – we find! –

by ascension; queendom!

An oyster of a world with you - unturned, I kneel to see a mystery

you hold – out to me –

a tiny thing turning

be tween

  – fingertips. A bird soaring over, you count the beat of his wings…

      Flash / flash / flash of orange (you tell me twice) “it’s a flicker.”

To him, we must be quite the pair – crouching to look at something unseen, heads cocked towards one and another.

Open necks mean,

                  “I can take more of you, I want to receive.”

Receive heartbeats and shivers, gestures and whispers.

I am making an altar of disbelief at your feet; shells and stone, dried bits of driftwood. Trailing - a line – forming a circle, encircling imprints – our handprints kissing. Sandy hands and hair mixing.

Dancing, you’ve come to fasten gleaming seaweed ribbons to my hair, trailing down my back – a line - forming a spine,

We turn to face – new terrain, original classrooms boiling up from earth and spiting wild shapes - unfurling life (beyond equation).

Growth structures beckon us with awnings and webs of rooms –

The walls inside are plastered

- our handiwork catalyzed - into constellations of decay and bloom.

I feel like bowing, “I can, I will, I do”

AHNIKA WOOD,   Photography Credit: Karina Rovira, Shaye Garrigan