A 50-year-old shouldn't die,
and if he can go, so can I,
      and so can you.
And I can do nothing but grieve in advance
and pull you back, grasping,
tearing your shirt on the way to the altar.

Can I be Abraham and not expect the ram?
Can I raise my knife and plunge,
not expecting a halting hand?
Plunge into my love, into my heart,
into my dearest joys.
Plunge into the beating heart of my man,
the beating heart of my son,
the beating heart of my dreams,
      plunge into me.
Can I allow lifeblood to pour
without hope of heaven or tourniquet?

But how can I restrain the flow of the tide?
How can I grasp the water of life?
Even clenched fists leak,
the water silently seeping
without our seeing
and when we open our hands to pour,
      it is gone.
Damp palms, cramped knuckles,
glistening with our loss.


Within the Wolf

Visiting grandchildren are
nothing but bad. This day
started with a wolf attack.

Squeaky demands dimmed
by the walls of muscle
and skin, by the humming of
blood through veins.
His voice rumbles in my
pressed-close ears, a father's
low and reassuring.

It's better to hear him than to see him,
much better.

So much waiting,
like the ticking of a clock,
the growling of a stomach,
and I don't know whether it's mine
or his.

The gentle squeezing of the womb,
the reassuring beating of a constant heart,
until the violence stops it.

They pull me out of my rolled position,
a girl's shaking hand
and a strong man's forceps grip.

A hunter, with red paws
and satisfied grin.

And I'm out, reborn
at the end of my life.

Sticky with birthing fluid,
I'm naked, and the air
around me chills.



I took the wrong bus,
the slow meanderer.
Two women talked
in the seat in front.
One studied English
because she loves to read.
One mastered German
to learn to speak.
And it was the two mes
debating the paths
I could have taken.
My two selves,
my two interests and loves.

But it's not me, is it?
Because it's not
all about me.
And these are
other women,
and this is not my route,
this not my bus.
I've gotten off.

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