Petalled Womb

In memory of Mildred Lawrence Post (19, 2, 1901 - 22, 2 1995)

Before your lips

Became a child

That neither you

Nor I

Had the courage to wean,

Long before

You learned

How to rise with my hips

And blow circles

With my father's cigar

I loved you.

And I know you could explain,

Even now.

Even your silence,

Even your absence

Explodes into my mouth –

A memory of a kiss

Wrapped in lemon ice


With Manhattan's rain.

As I pretend to sleep

In this sleepless room,

As I pretend to have forgotten

The storm you left

Inside this petalled womb

I loved you.

Even before I trusted

You would always be here

To admire my hands,

Kneel with my soul,

And spar with my fear,

I let you in.

Long before

You even realized

You could open this door.