I am walking so carefully now
one foot in front of the other, trying not to look
to the side, keeping my eyes down
low for the rocks and ridges and rough
life in front of me,
picking my way like a woman of eighty
or eighteen, cautious,
knowing what it is to fall, how it is to hurt
from one misplaced step,
how many paths there are, that look so lovely
laced with roses and your strawberry mouth.
But i look down, small-stepping to the front
no sideways glance
and certainly not behind me,
& sometimes still i feel that weakness in my ankles
that urge to trip and fall,
all unbalanced, i feel it all again:
the warmth of your hands holding my feet
palm to ankle bone, thumb just resting there in my hollow
weak spot
sweet spot,
the warmth of your hands enfolding my feet,
laid smooth and tender against them, holding them still
your forehead on the arched top of my foot
your lips breathing out my toes
one by one by one to ten
& there you are at my feet
& i did not stumble with you there;
we had fallen so far together.

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