Posts Tagged ‘tragedy’


For two hours, I am the woman
who works at the orphanage, the woman
who falls in love with a man from India
who is not who he says he is.
He and I make love for hours beneath a mirror,
twining our limbs in a sea of silk,
and he shows me the pleasure
of losing the stories I’ve told myself
about what is possible with love.
When, after many pages,
we arrive at happily ever after,
I find myself on the couch in my kitchen,
notice my own thick legs curled beneath me,
my own raw heart in my tired chest
doing its faithful work. I’m surprised
to return to my own story:
the woman who is grieving—
the woman alone
in the empty room who listens
for the voice that isn’t there,
who listens for footsteps that do not come.
For the last two hours, I had forgotten her,
had forgotten this woman
whose story I know as my own,
this woman who lost her son.
I had forgotten the ache she carries,
the constant throb. And though it cuts,
though it wounds,
I am so grateful to return to her life,
to her story—the story
of how she gave her everything
to someone she loved,
how she knows he loved her, too.
It’s not a story she had wanted to live,
but now that it’s hers
she would never give up a page
of their story. Not a single word.


this poem has been published in ONE ART

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