The brush whispers. Birds search
the ground for twigs and soft leaves.
A couple scratches their love
into the flank of a tree. A cougar drops
from a branch onto a fawn.
A brutal storm. The wind lashes;
an aged Douglas fir splits to the roots.
Things are exposed
that shouldn’t be. Monstrous bugs,
a litter of moles squirming, pink and tiny
as baby hands.
I Store You Away
It takes weeks to mutilate beans
into instant coffee—to pick, ship, roast,
ship, freeze-dry, and pour
into the cardboard cylinder
I pull from my cabinet,
fuse black with boiling water.
It is the beginning of another day.
It’s as smooth as clean hair.
The house around me is silent.
I am alone
except for the man living
in my warehouse of a heart.
Right now, I don’t feel your absence
like I normally do,
like sensing the drop-off when wading
across a dark river.
I thought, when I fell,
all that darkness
would drag me under,
but the water holds me up,
My face is above the surface,
a bloom adrift.
Ellie Francis Douglass is a Latina and a feminist. She holds an MFA from Oregon State University, and she is the Poetry Editor of Carve Magazine. Her work has been published by the Missouri Review Online, Washington Square Review, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, and others. She lives in San Antonio, Texas with her husband, Matt, and teaches at Northwest Vista College, as well as in Gemini Ink’s Writers in Communities Program. Learn more about her at EllieFrancisDouglass.com, or follow her on twitter @elliefdouglass.