By Mark Belair

She can’t be comforted with talk.

She’s too conflicted, unseated, unsure.


She needs to plunge into the sea.

She needs to ride the breaking waves.


She needs to walk a rocky cliff

in blazing, late-day sun.


Only then, back

in our room—


become no wiser

but fiercely cleansed—


will her soft, alert,




receive the touch


of my

gentle words.


Mark Belair’s poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Alabama Literary Review, Atlanta Review, Harvard Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Poetry East and The South Carolina Review. His books include the collection While We’re Waiting (Aldrich Press, 2013) and two chapbook collections: Night Watch (Finishing Line Press, 2013), and Walk With Me (Parallel Press of the University of Wisconsin at Madison, 2012). For more information, please visit


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