I sought you in darkness,
under the earth, where water’s fingers
caressed cold stone,
wore away at it, creating fissures,
a plunging, aching cavern,
into which the sun’s light
couldn’t reach the dark birthwaters;

I floated there in the cold dark,
my inner heat consumed by it,
but you were not there.

I dissolved into the water, breathless,
passed through the veins of the world,
where the limestone fangs rimmed the earth’s
maw, tried to gnaw and consume me,
but deeper I flowed, looking for you,
tightly fitted, formed, stroked by stones,
till I reached the magma heart of the world.

Chilled by my passage, the heat
made me flush pink, even dissolved as I was,
but—too much, too much—then I
was nothing but steam, raging with heat,
expanding out, pressing at the stone that confined,
and still,
you were not there.

Raging at my abandonment, I tore at
layers of earth, the rich mud, forced my way out
of my lonely prison cell, my personal hell,
and surged up, exhausting myself in
a fiery rain of ash and pyroclastic flow—
found myself born into magma, born into
fire and earth, and sullenly traced a path
down the mountain to the shore,
where the waves hissed and bore steam-clouds
where they met me, and still
you were not there.

The waves rolled over me as I stayed firm
in my resentment, played and massaged and
teased. Sometimes storms came,
stirring the ocean to its depths, and I envied them,
even as they fought, contended,
because the storms always passed
giving way to light and tender breezes
that ruffled the white caps of the waves.

I remembered how it was to flow, to be easy,
how it was not to be stiff with anger,
felt myself flaking away with
each pass of the waves,
turning to sand and fertile earth;
felt seeds fall upon me,
felt the roots of flowers
pressing deep into me, splitting me—
little pinpricks of pain,
yet so delicious;

they fed on me,
took my essence into them,
and yet, I was not diminished;
they breathed out air
and drank the rain that fell
from the storms,
pierced me to my heart—
and then I realized
that you were in them
as you were in me,
and through them,
I was in you.

Zetetic separator

Deborah L. Davitt was raised in Reno, Nevada, but received her MA in English from Penn State. She currently lives in Houston, Texas with her husband and son. Her poetry has appeared in over twenty journals; her short fiction has appeared in InterGalactic Medicine Show, Compelling Science Fiction, and The Fantasist. For more about her work, please see www.edda-earth.com.

Leave a Reply