To Know Me

There is that in me – I do not know what it is – but I know it is in me. -Walt Whitman

To really know me you’ll need to know
Mary and I loved the same man
we’d spend summer nights sitting cross-legged
at the foot of our beds reading Leaves of Grass,
wrapping his thoughts around our exposed shoulders
for comfort and confidence. Hours dissolved into paper,
into the spaces between the letters.
Night drew in eventually; dreams carried us
into the cool morning where we explored
the backwoods of our homes, taking us through
streambeds and into swaying treetops.

To really know me you’ll need to know
I’ve since wrapped myself with her words
and my own. This morning I sewed
a small booklet to carry in my back pocket
with the nub of a #2 pencil.
The notes I take while watching circling hawks,
retreating fog, while walking the forest in solitude
a series of self-portraits
painting my rounded shoulders
with words that sneak-up from within.
By Dresden Holden