Portrait of a Landscape

Before I left,
I thought I heard him whisper
while splayed in sleep
I fear that you will leave me.

A darkened room, soiled sheets,
insurmountable space between,
who can be sure the words said
on the mountain’s other side?

I thought I said Te quiero,
slipping into my Spanish comfort tongue.
Perhaps he heard Te dejo.
The next day, the valley widened.

- Dr. Raina León


Professor Raina J. León has published two collections of poetry—Canticle of Idols (2008) and Boogeyman Dawn (2013), and her poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Natural Bridge and African American Review. She writes: "This poem explores disconnections that occur in language, landscape and love. I wrote it as a way of conjuring that experience of the outsider in the most intimate of places and times."

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