The Still Pond

Seventeen was a year for writing about swans.
Eighteen was a year for burying them.

I have let such tenderness die in the name of a man
who would not remember my own.
Who, like my father, would only see long, brown braids
when he thought of me — and who thinks of me still
as a girl, I’m sure —
or a place where he left his hands too long to rest.

So, this is how my body would grow to be a woman
— with a lot of death —
with the wrists of violence rending necks so swiftly
there was hardly any sound,
which is both to say, “All at once” and, “Forever.”
Either way, there will always be a part of me
at that pond, washing the dirt from my hands,
and wishing the water still at last.

(My God, how much I miss myself —
I will always miss myself the most…)

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