Lady Lazarus in the Bath

I have done it again.
One week in every seven
I ruin it.

Bones in the basin
And the sodden skin
Above it; I roll

On a beaded spine
And stain the fever liquid
With my rust.

The water in the
Curtain's shadow--
Once faucet-sweet--

Now might be the ocean's.
I leave my poppy-petal
Pigment in the tub.

These are my roots
My lashes now.
I may be tarnished silver;

Nevertheless, I am the same, identical woman.
The first time it happened I was scared.
It was an accident.

Now in voluntary
Madness I submerge,
Then, dripping my undoing, stand:

Out of the water
I rise with my wet hair
And only ashes to wear.

original poem here.
photograph by Pennie Naylor.


The Commuter's Ablution

Sane women do not fantasize
about stepping
--bloused, pearl-studded--
into the plaza fountain
in December.

Sane women,
she explains to herself
once safely past the water,
Sane women go in naked.

art: "The Fish Gatherer" by Aron Wiesenfeld.


The Grasshopper in Winter

The grasshopper on the ground is dead--
not by boot, or hooting bird,
or by sultry spider--
but dead
as the grass, passed away,
and the hop that ceased.

His armor is accounted for,
though curled in the afterlife
into some aquatic thing.
The hop is gone,
but perhaps in that small beyond,
he swims.

art: "The Warrior in Winter," by Julia Jeffrey


Meeting Salvador

At first I thought
it was cicadas calling my name.
The song rose and fell neatly
with the rest of the summer's ruckus.


Not cicadas. The sound sped ceaselessly
from a second-story window.
From my plastic perch in the garden
I saw the pacing shadow
of the shy noisemaker.

He wrung his hands, released
the moan, which, escaping, crashed
and beat its fists against
the hot fence of my name:
Gala. Gala. Gala.

"Salvador Dali's love for Gala, a woman 10 years older than he and the wife of his friend Paul Eluard, exploded when they met; he realized numerous extravagancies to capture her attention, such as waxing his armpit and dying it blue, applying goat excrement to his skin and wearing a red geranium on his head. His emotion was such that, every time he tried to talk to her, he suffered uncontrollable laughing attacks."

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