Becoming my own

Like the warm apple in the orchard, my legs

are blotched a blushing nude, clenched tight

as teeth together. I am staring down at my

thighs and knees, separated only by an inch,

and in between them sits the knot that makes

me woman. It does not seem to be so very

large as I had feared. Curious, I prise my clamped

legs apart to extract my white, heavy underwear,

holding it up to see hot islets

of the blood of adulthood.

Wintering here now

I think about you consciously all the time.

No hiding behind dreams, visions and half-memories,

a dark head turned towards me

in the night. I think of you deliberately, I think of your

voice, all the times I wanted to cup your face in my palms

which are dry palms , I am a quiet woman

when it comes to these things. I want to tell you I'm sorry now

but I don't know what I'm sorry for. I want to have done the right thing

but I don't know what that is. I want to stroke some part of your distant body

but there hasn't been much touching lately – is that too old? I think I just want

to sit across from you in the desert mist and say, I wanted               to be free.

gillian anderson

You are most beautiful like this, no hair and no makeup,

wild and wretched post-coital woman. If I could paint you now, you'd be the new-age Mona Lisa,

all semi-smile and fully nude, damnedly demisexual. Your large eyes, your lips, the petal pink

of your breast, gallant darling, the fell swoop of your neck,

your jutting chin, your maidensmile,

exorbitantly beautiful.

 

Published fall 2018 by Persephone's Daughters.