i have only ever known myself as atlas, holding the heavens on strong shoulders; an invitation to wander below. i remember all the miles you drove almost as if i had ridden alongside you. the stretch of my skin became your open road, every bump and crevice both mountain and valley.
i was not anticipating your arrival as you searched for me blindly. i can only imagine how far your heart must have been removed from its right place with no compass or roadmap to see you through. though i wished to, i could do little more than guard your wayward travel.
i contorted myself so that your winding road would never find dead ends, only one-ways; when you came to the oceans around my hips, i made the waves dance for you; as you crossed the desert dunes, i blew cool breeze; the moment you passed my breasts, i made the flowers bloom. i have witnessed you traverse the earth in search of yourself, in spite of yourself. you traveled seeking answers. i hold not the earth in my hands, only the sky.
Ashley Ward is an emerging poet from the Austin, Texas area. Passionate about advocating for social justice, her work often centers love and equity. She has been published in trampset and Kreaxxxion and her work is forthcoming in Versification, Variant Literature and dreams walking. You can find more of her poetry at www.ashleywrote.com.