Sawyer Lovett — “Forest for the Trees”

I befriended each plant and animal.
They were kinder than kids.
Girl tactics that would hobble any terrorist
viral rumors spread like germs
defaced locker,
clothes thrown into the shower.
Boys whose interest was a sword
poking me from behind
in line at the water fountain.

Weekends were sun dappled
fists buried in meaty soil that nourished me.
The wind sang stories and songs
and learned to grow food
for the times my life
was not worth scraps from a rich man’s table.
I dug happiness up by the root,
gathered it into a dirty bouquet
I could clutch close to her chest
with something akin to pride.

I built castles out of books
surrounded myself with stories about
knights and dragons
both kinds of princesses
brave and fierce
passive and pretty
I preferred princesses with something to prove.
And then I met the best of them.

And we became both flight and fight
her breath, my breath, our breath
beating time with
her heart, my heart, our heart
the horizon fading behind us
like a movie backdrop
happily ever after never seemed
so far away
and right now
never seemed so close

What does time matter
when her hand is clenched in mine
like the only prize I have ever wanted to win?

Sawyer Lovett is a writer who lives in Philadelphia with his wife, a dog, and a hedgehog. He’s a part-time bookseller and a full time MFA student who occasionally reviews books for Kirkus and Lambda Lit. He is the author of two books and his work has appeared in Apiary, Impossible Archetype, and Cleaver.