by Brandi Willis Schreiber
I write to you, for the first time,
after the year’s long ache. Do you remember
our walk ending in ochre light,
we turned to the sound of a soft
click, a latch perhaps, or the smallest beak
closing on a seed?
There – eight deer ascended
from the stream and the moist
banks like journeying queens
who came only to eat at our table.
At night, among the crickets’ faintest
song, I feel your warmth beside me,
your skin like the buzz of a peach. I taste
our life in my mouth. I dream
Of the llano, the wild grasses
that cannot die. Cicadas dance and chatter
among bare branches like castanets.
As a girl, I made them purr in my fingers
until they flew away, smitten.
Though I do not know it,
next year we will walk by a November
stream, and catch the surprise
of each other’s rings in our hands.
The water reeds will close their bodies
in silence against the skin of the deer,
and the God in whose company
the earth humbly darkens, will disappear.
Brandi Willis Schreiber holds an M.A. in English Literature from Texas Tech University and is the author of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction which has appeared in Big Tex[t], New Texas: A Journal of Culture and Literature, The Texas Review, Red River Review, All Things Dickinson: An Encyclopedia of Emily Dickinson’s World, 2Elizabeths, and elsewhere. She lives and writes in West Texas. www.brandiwillisschreiber.com