Poetry: Beth Walk

What is enough?

chunking of oak bark pressed
free with the outside of unpolished thumb

catching chip of the dead leaf
on the forest floor below it.

division of river between fingertips
cool of plastic kayak to rest a wrist upon
the delicate wrap of sunwarmth
over span of a
zenith to spread.

penetrating the face of a flower i planted
myself from seed,
a hummingbird

friend Ben’s fear of all
that made me laugh and laugh,
on his couch one night
to hear

because i
am not,
have never
been, afraid of moths.

in fact,

in this moment—
the ths in moths
is more enough
for me
than the tiptip of fuzzy legs on my palm

the sweep of my hand over curve of a hip
to have a rest inside a waist, to hold fast, unpolished—

and that’s
saying something.


Run a fingertip over the shattered touchscreen, pick up the glitter in the supple trenches of
rings and curved swirls. See it there, look close, shut one eye, hard, pinch of creases,
enmeshed lashes.

My tip for the shower: Cover your nipples until the cascade warms to desired temperature.
The body will follow. Don’t use your hands; fingers are icier than wrists. Look up, don’t sit
on your heels, no matter how tired you are. You won’t be able to get back up.

Pull the black coating off stiff curved proteins when you got waterproof mascara as a gift
and makeup remover costs money. Yank lashes out too, accidentally, one by crusted one.
Teased black snowy ashes hold hands with cheektop freckles. Wipe them with fingers to
achieve natural blush from repeated attempts to clear now-irritated skin. Water is
obsolete—glow, don’t shine.

How I got the glass home from the bar in Beijing: Bar was obscured by people. Too
impatient to wait.
Slipped it in my reusable shopping bag I used as a purse. Danced with two women, wove
our fingers and our arms became banners, followed each other’s seismic waves, she, I, she,
melody, rhythm, up and sway, down and curve.

Yelled into my ear when the song changed, “It was. so nice. to- dancing with you!”
Heated moist vibrations tickle torturously but don’t put anything in your ear to itch ever
except your shoulder or elbow.

Beth Walk was born and raised in Maine. She received her Creative Writing BFA from The University of Maine at Farmington and her MFA from San Francisco State University. She currently lives in New York with her four cats.