Many Rivers

You kissed the sole
of my foot this morning
before you left for work, and the back
of my thigh, and my right
hip. I know millions of kisses
have been given and received—
I know they have fallen out of the sky
like snow onto my foremothers,
so many bodies touched
by so many lips,
all the songs of skin and breath perhaps
already sung. But I also know
there are fewer thorns in my feet now,
I have waded many rivers to get here,
and if I lie down in this clearing
while the rain creeps across the hillsides
it is only because you have given me
what I didn’t know to ask for.


By Katherine Riegel