Beauty is a feeling

a poem from 2006

Beauty is a feeling

He fed me the root of a licorice fern,
sheep sorrel, a soup made from stinging nettles.
In the morning I did not feel
the same—earth had infiltrated my blood,
my skin felt soft,
as if covered in moss.
When I breathed I tasted the forest.
When I sighed or gasped or yawned,
I felt the wind.
At night I dreamed of hands calloused
to the invisible sting of the nettles, of a step
as silent as the deer
on the forest floor.  My eyes filled
with the deep green of the sea,
bald eagles flew before me, giant kelp beat
against the shore and the otters came
swimming back
in droves. 

published 2009 in Shark Reef Literary Magazine