Emily A. Benton
How he pines among the needles and firs
for the nudist he once saw bathing by
the waterfall, for the moment she turned—
when a finch left the brush and her tame eye
almost caught his. How he wanted to reach
out and touch her, tuck her lilywhite hair
behind her ear, feed her blackberries he’d
plucked, gift her honeysuckle from his beard.
But she is gone, and she did not see him
(for he is meant to roam with plants alone),
thus he sulks in the vastness of his den
and remote woods. If only she could know
I exist, he thinks and paces and leaves
prints in mud: small signs should she believe.