and already I’ve heard too many jokes
about a woman who was no good
in the kitchen. I think of her
when I look in the mirror, searching
for the terrible fish I know
is rising up to meet me.
I think of her when I light a candle
and wonder if she, like me
was always drawn to fire.
Even when I’m swooning
over her phrasing, I am afraid of her.
Of the familiar lines in her face,
the talent for sadness, the extreme
ability to go to extremes. My heroines
are fierce and broken women.
Virginia too—her eyes wide
in photographs with some unknowable
question—reminds me too much
of someone I know too well.
A girl who collected stones
in her pockets for years
until she heard the story,
a girl who sometimes longs to touch
the black belly of the river.



Photo By: Helga Weber