My Writing

I Slip

then, just before I fall, 

your hand slipping away from mine,

unwinding into wisps of foggy grey

that dissipates into smoke, then vapor, then nothing,

I catch myself upon a stone,

my hand breaking open, palm 

blushing red as I remember

that as a child I kicked the dirt, finding

smooth, round stones beneath

and rub them in my hands, my fingers feeling 

along the cool curve of the rock, turning 

it over and over in my hands, dirt collecting 

on my palms like outer skin because

back then, I was young enough to feel the lightness 

in my feet, the rush right before jumping, 

the ascension into the air, where I hung, tingling 

with excitement, legs weak with jitters but heart pulsing 

and pounding as I pressed myself 

forward, the stone held tightly in one hand — 

as long as I held it gently, this magic rock 

would keep me high in the clouds, 

where the air was crisp and 

the sky broke open wide, bright and delicious

like freshly picked blackberries

right from the vine,

purple staining my fingers, tracing

my fingerprints on the pad of each finger,

dark and wet and sweet, 

these purple whorls are me,

seeds still stuck in my teeth, the taste —

the burst —

of tangy sour, underripe with pale red streaks,

not yet ready, but

who can fly who feels ready to jump


who reaches out her hand to hold another’s

if she is sure he will hold her too?

Photo by Lizzie George on Unsplash