Who would I be if you died
What version of myself—Would I
be able to come up to you
On the WWF poster and plead
In front of all these cold faces
Love you grasping over a slippery plank
Because, now I can’t
Shape frozen shards into a lonely heart gone extinct—
Is that what life takes, death?
We were not meant to meet on the white tundra
Nor by the gates of a savior’s plight
But I can reconcile the transfixed period
Of your life alive and near mine
That we are somehow a woven struggle
To die little deaths along a rugged path
And in the great stories as they are told
We fit generalizations of love enough to render
The long paddling journey through the sea—
A place that keeps us hungry until final we meet.
– Jesse Leidel
Jesse Leidel: I live in Worcester, MA as a transplant from Deep South Georgia. I live with my spouse, two children, two cats, and a dog. While I find inspiration to write in all things, nature helps ground me. I love the discovery and curiosity on walks. Words help find a way to observe how humans are entangled with the natural world and often separated by our own work. These poems attempt to survive, reinvent the work we do inside the lines with the natural world.