We are too far gone, no blazes to mark soft spots of moss
and flagstone between trees. Instead, a rougher landscape.
Tongue and teeth of river rock. Lick of sand and sunburned skin.
Dried-up bed of sticks we pick through, blooms of cacti fade
from touch. On another day, thirst would be forgotten.
Water once carved through these parts. Again, rain
will make Cyprus mist, muddy the earth with want.
As we climb the river’s spine, I think of a different landscape.
She takes the lead and I take in the tangle of her sunlit hair,
her words, the rivulet of sweat making its way down
her back. Today, more than most days I can admit
I want her wet mouth on mine. A sudden rush, to bite
the cherry of her lips. To let ourselves be tart. To linger
knowing today isn’t the day we get caught in the rain.
Author Bio: S.A.Newsom is a writer residing in Pittsburgh. She is an MFA candidate at Chatham University and a Fact Checker at Creative Nonfiction Foundation. She has served as an Assistant Editor for The Fourth River and as an intern for Autumn House Press. Her work has been featured in The Cauldron, The Index, and is forthcoming at Host Publications.