James Champion

Leaf Between

for Riki

I’m walking with you and without you.
The between follows us, a wild glimmer. The sky,
too, wanders whitely through
the birch trees like an abandoned thought.

Then, it’s as if the geese overhead said, “Oh,
a meadow,” and let one fall feathery from their wings,
golden and rippling. This meadow, this is the meadow I
imagine you in. Wide

grin hung twirling…you decorate it,
so I want to decorate you, meadow
that you are. Your body so bright, so un-wreathed
that at night you disturb my stillness. Well,

I want you

like a lake wants
an oranged, softened maple leaf
to touch its surface, and feel beyond it, like you do

and will do. This little flame, flickering in all directions.

James Champion (he/him/his) is from Whitehall, Michigan. He has a bad habit of looking only at his shoes as he walks place to place, but this makes arrival (and the sky) a constant surprise. You can find him online at @jameslchampion on Instagram or Twitter.