Leave of Absence
(Audio read by Carla Martin-Wood.)
I always knew that world
breathed without me
as if we shared—
as if it casually cared I was in its dream.
Alone, I concede to that phantom
space, the erased place that once wore me
as it disrobed, unselfconsciously;
knew no trace when I exhaled—
awake from being involved
and giving everything.
—Margot Brown, Marengo, IL