The Place Beneath

by Toby MacNutt


My lover has a hand-built heart.
She builds it as steady as she is shifting,
its shapes thrown back 
to a time when human hands 
wrought heftier futures, reaching high. 
She exhales its smoke slowly, of an evening
through her arching, narrow alleys.

I am knitting her a promise,
light as seafoam.
I will wrap her in whispers
of rising springs, sing her stories
out of broken light. I will hum to her
rolling echoes of the quiet roar
whose embrace she never knew.

In brick-shadow, she roams the towpaths.
She has long been carving arcs 
between stone and concrete lines.
(This we have in common:
between two points, the curve;
and the mosses; and the wind.)
She calls to me — come home.

When our lanes grow cold,
I will walk her down
a secret tunnel of dark hedges,
to a place below, one underneath time.
We will nest in the roots
that hold up the sky.

We make our vow, we two.
Out of all our skins, we wear our myths;
she remembers, and I foretell.
We promise, both together,
we who are never one, but many.

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Toby MacNutt lives and teaches in the state of Vermont. Hir short fiction and poetry has been published by or is forthcoming from The Future Fire, inkscrawl, and Capricious Magazine. When not writing, ze works in textiles and dance. You can find out more at tobymacnutt.com or say hello to @tylluan on Twitter.

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