I am terrified of ships,
arrogant as they
and pitch barbs at waves.
I know what it is to leak,
for the rain to flood my sneakers.
I know how it feels when the sea runs out
of my eyes,
and the horrid salt leaves me thirsty for days.
Water plays the sheep gently in summer storms.
I too have been a lover strolling down streets wet
with leaked cloud
and felt almost thrilled.
But then I slept.
and the water rose higher and higher,
crested over me and I drowned.
Now I watch the ports carefully,
listen to ships boast and jeer.
The water whispers its dark plans.
Sylvia and I
In the kitchen I drink
I love the way we share secrets,
the way we are secrets.
The children are at school
and I don’t know why.
You can’t be taught to be radiant,
to sew your smile on each dawn,
to pour yourself like perfume from a pitcher
all over the house when you are empty.
Let’s stir our drinks.
The ice is so officious,
teaching us how to die with grace.
There are no cookies to bake in the waiting oven.
We just can’t be that sort of women.
My ice clanks,
The room is paler.
We burn deeper
if not brighter.