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C. L. Sidell

Our first breath does not define us. 


I look at you and see a mixed canvas, 

each segment equally vibrant. 


(A butterfly with mismatching wings 

still flutters confidently among flowers 

and other wild things:


Why should your steps 

carry any less weight than before?) 


Sitting cross-legged, knees to knees, 

we search each other’s eyes. 

In dappled light, there’s no absolute shade. 

Chocolate melts to chestnut 

which then burns a golden brown. 

But within the changing hues resides 

a single constant: strength. 

And pressing fingertips to fingertips 

confirms your warmth. 


The heart does not care what mortal suit you wear. 


Still skin to skin, you gaze 

through criss-crossed branches toward the sky. 

A patch of sunlight 

paints your newly-bearded chin, 

highlights a stray twig nestled in your hair. 


Sheltered under this violet umbrella tree,

I pluck the tiny branch with my teeth. 


A Black Swallowtail flits by;

a breeze stirs. 


Wordless, our fingers slide, lock gently into place.


Loving each.


Loving the other.

C. L. Sidell moderates Pause for Poetry (est. 2012) and Wordsmiths (est. 2015) and also reviews books for FLYP, the Florida Library Youth Program. Her fiction and poems have appeared (or are forthcoming) in 34 Orchard, 50 Haikus, Invoking Chaos, Quarantine Quanta, opia, and Triangle Writers Magazine. Her debut novel Repetition was published in June 2020.

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