Cacti Toucher Published with Impspired Literary Magazine January 2020 poetry 1. When you were brand new my arms aching from the lack of armrests on the chairs in the hospital where I held you like a truth that was undefinable
and it was not permissible to entertain the greatest of doubts or wish I could consume the stars with you rather than with ferocity scold a nurse
for suggesting that I leave you with her to insert an IV in your head after she had missed five veins five times.
The bunnies on her uniform seemed misleading and the driest air I had ever breathed could not escape the anonymously staring windows screenless and suffocating.
2. When you were less new and more weatherworn you came thundering into the tent after hiking for hours
the scent of wet grass, fire, and freedom burning in you like a solar wind needing to blow to eternity with every tale to tell until you were calm with sleep.
I thought that none of us were the same people we were when this thing started. Doctors said you would be better by 6 months, fine by 18 months
their distance mounting like a tempest in search of fair weather. One even accused me. And I let her make off with my compass. For a while.
In the glow of the dewy moon the tent heavy with the 3 am sighing of your safe slumber and to the warning calls of coyotes I claimed it back.
3. When you were growing old the water hung in the night sky half snow half ice shooting tendrils of starbursts slicing straight up
into the blackness like the unsheathed sword of Masamune shining with superior beauty and purity hovering above the lights on the slopes
where you pounded the powder edges dug in deep. Everyone said they had never seen such a phenomenon faces in their phones
fingers frantically flying over search engines needing to know if this thing had been named. I knew it was you though, a reoccurring
katana manifested by Sephiroth at will but sheathed during peace times and carried with the strength of a thousand warriors. My skyward gaze held my frozen tears.
5. Before there was Google and removal of fine hair like cacti spines from the hand of a toddler was not a chapter in What to Expect from World Touchers
when the scent of your hair clung to my heart when every song was you stirring in my soul when I didn’t flinch in the nights long with anxiety and wakefulness
I knew you when you could not. As you intruded on the world full of spirited dashing flying off basement stairs into lands of pillows gorgeous cardboard wings
dauntless and declaring thoroughly insistent in your protestations launching fearlessly in your certainty I admired you.
6. When you step into this world casting about for a hold lifting your voice I disband my army of uncertainty
In favor of no single interpretation of you and with no warnings to heed the stab of such infinitesimally hard to remove barbs on the cacti of life.