Photo by Alma Ortman

When she’s happy coming home
on a Friday night
after deep talks
with a good soul
and a sunset,
she dances barefoot
on her clean, soft floor
to beautiful blue songs,
then stares
inside her eyes
close to the mirror
until she cries
from something new
that’s love.

Look at those crinkly laugh wrinkles!
When did they come about?
God, they’re beautiful.
She used to drink and eat
and close
to numbness
on these kinds of nights
What feels like a lifetime ago.

When she’s anxious in public
she cleans her fingernails
and sometimes goes too deep.
Then they sting
and she has to press down on them
making mudras of her hands
for what feels like a long time.
She used to bite them, though.

When she’s walking down a city street
she fixates on
the beauty
of small flowers,
curly leaves,
and squirrels and dogs
and clouds.
When they aren’t smiling,
she imagines what joy
would look like
on that stranger’s face.
She used to walk like that, too,
and hopes her felicity
sparks courage
to see each other
and see the sky.

When a bee lands on her during a date
she stares in quiet statue,
remembering a dream and
feeling auspicious
as it crawls four inches
across her freckled arm.
Hey, little buddy.
She didn’t realize how soft they feel
and then it just flies away.
What happened? She thinks.
She used to flail at bees
and life.
Now she just


© 2017 Alma Ortman. All Rights Reserved.