Gentle Stratigraphy by Kim Malinowski

Leaves crowd blossoms into wispy

decent—

is that how it always is?

Meandering fall into glade—

your hand reaches out—
moss between toes
pebble jutting into hip
coyote jawbone at brow.

 Banks cut by patient water.

Soft decent—

Sandstone and lime carved into stratigraphy.

I map it like I do your irises, your dimples—gentle craft. 
Do you carve me with your caresses?
Shape me as the stream does the bank?
Fingers tap at my stomach.
Moss and mud—water—do you map me?  

The sun sets. First stars appear.
Do you know the constellations of my freckles?

 You may bend and ford me.

Let my stratigraphy show layers.
Love and loss—unbearable and bearable pain—
show life lived to the brim.

 Reveal me.

 Revel in godhood—shape my soul.


Kim Malinowski earned her B.A. from West Virginia University and her M.F.A. from American University. She studies with The Writers Studio. Her chapbook Death: A Love Story was published by Flutter Press. Her work was featured in Faerie Magazine and has appeared in War, Literature, and the Arts, Mookychick, and others.

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