Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts, USA
And I am just asking for something true and clear.
But meaning comes to me jagged, fractured and blue and cold.
I can’t make sense of this brightness.
Do I find myself on the lake bed?
Or am I in the ballroom, again?
Lit in rosy hues by the stained glass,
quaint little heels creaking the floorboards, stirring the dust –
Almost like: I want someone to come to me, this time.
I don’t want to have to go to them.
I am trying to dream of something other than hollow space,
but the dream itself is the gauze of this gown’s lace train,
thin as frost, glittering, almost disappearing
when I hold it to the light.
They have placed me alone here in the center of the dance floor, a crooked and wasting doll.
I am the painting’s centerpiece, is that it?
(And you are not here at all.)
Somewhere out on the lake a mallard dips below the silver of the water, and,
re-emerging, shakes the droplets from his head.
His lover swims a little ahead of him. Her feathers are plainer than his.
Yet they both shine.