BIRTHED YOU SECRETLY
 by OAKLEY AYDEN

I wish I’d birthed you 

secretly on forest earth, 

canopied in autumn warmth,

wish i’d never told a soul, that 

each night i could know you slept

safe beneath the stars, pressed intact 

against my breast, that padlocked

 

country lips i’d kept, that we 

 

were still 

love 

 

unscathed, 

easeful, sipping 

sky-soaked breathe, 

moon 

and rest.

AUTHOR BIO:

Oakley Ayden (she/her) is an autistic, bisexual writer from North Carolina. Her poems appear in Ghost City Review, The Cabinet of Heed, Maw: Poetry Journal, Not Very Quiet, Blue Bottle Journal, and elsewhere. She lives in Los Angeles with her two children. Find her online at oakleyayden.com