a lantern, solitary
like a fox returning to her den

there is time for quietness
& there is time for loving

i know you understand

shy winds tried to keep my dress
on skin

follow the scent

tonight i’ll make a show
of full moon

wet leaves wrap around the thorns
without hesitation
so undoubtedly
so certainly

along the seven miles of river
i love your way of hands towards me
without hesitation
persistently, unguardedly

let’s watch the air catch fire too
and do nothing

let us look into each other’s eyes
like we’re sharing a secret
like a secret is sharing us

like a reaching
for a something unproven by all other senses
and elsewhere
we are also together

bodies like holy stories in ceremony
holding light in our lips
words are mini gods
may we speak ourselves in love

skin-prayer

and the sun kisses the arms
of dawn

A little more:

I saw a red fox a few days ago while I was taking my morning walk in the park nearby. She crossed right in front of me in the most gentle nonchalant way, just a few feet away from me. I couldn’t believe how close she was to me, and how magical it was to even see her – because our park isn’t nearly big nor wild enough. No idea where she lives and where her den might be. I’ve held and pet red foxes before actually, in captivity, but this was the first time I’ve seen one in the wild. They really do enchant you into love. 

For many Native American tribes, the fox is a really important and magical animal, and a powerful animal spirit/guide/totem. It is believed that it was the fox who lit her tail from the fire of the Gods, to then bring it down here for humanity. And still today, foxes lit their tails, bright red of fire, from mystical campfires deep into the forest, to then bring it into hearths of the small alone houses, where coldness has spread in the corridors and rooms. 

We all need fire. We all need hope, we all need support. And a fox – with a bright red tail, who amidst the empty sky, and high trees that hide us from the eyes, will enchant us back into believing. 

In many ways, the return to ourselves, to our soul, to our soulskin, to the wild soil and our underground heat, happens through the fires of love. Through the love of self and through the love of another. Through the meeting of our wild lover, or a wild friend, the one who loves us passionately, intensely, continually, constantly, persistently, unguardedly, and with profound endurance and all encompassing. Into these eyes we should look and learn and trust and surrender into – into the these soulful, wise, loving eyes.

I also think of the fox from The Little Prince – about the wise truth she said that humanity has perhaps forgotten: “We are responsible for those we tame.” Call me a romantic from old tales, but no matter how much the word integrity is on the extinction list, I still try to believe in chivalry, in love and in courtship, in “my word is my bond”, and in the responsibility that love carries within itself. Because human hearts are fragile. We mustn’t ever forget that. To love is to take someone’s heart within yours, to carry it within yours, and to care for them as if they are a part of you.     

Liam Neeson once said: “Disappointments are an absolute certainty. Everyone lets everyone down at some point. How you come back from it, that’s romance.” And as primitive as it may sound, sometimes we need to learn, and re-learn, how to build fire from sticks. Isn’t that magic also?

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Cover photography by Katerina Plotnikova.