She remained in bed. The fan was turned to the highest, loudest speed so she couldn’t hear anything outside of the white noise. She hadn’t changed a thing in their room since he died. She even slept with the same sheets and comforters they once used to cover their naked, tangled arms and legs. She slept in the same bed, the same one they made love on, creating baby after baby, until there was three. She reached for the pillow beside her, she wrapped her legs around it, she clung to it, and held it like the body of her love. His body now buried, decomposing, transforming into dust, into nothing more than star dust.
after he died
what really happened is
she watched the days
bundle into thousands,
watched every act become
the history of others,
every bed more
but even as the eyes of lovers
strained toward the milky young
she walked away
from the hole in the ground
deciding to live. and she lived.
image: Eugène Delacroix (1798-1863)
poem: she lived by lucille clifton.
Face down in the dust… I’ll kiss no other lips
A lifetime of nothing, condemned without you
Across the endless wilderness where all the beasts bow down their heads.
Darling I will never rest till I am by your side.
The path ended here at the farm. She was a work horse, having long abandoned the primp and prep of her past. She let her hair grow long and gray, she stopped plucking her eyebrows, and all her fancy dresses and designer shoes were sold – replaced by an old pair of red ropers, denim shirts and her favorite pair of jeans. When she saw the older version of herself in the mirror – the brownness of her skin, the sunspots, the freckles, the lines on her face – the only dislike was how her nose was transforming into her father’s.
Want a horse, i got a sheep,
I’m gonna get me a good night’s sleep,
Livin’ in a home in the heart of the country.
I’m gonna move, i’m gonna go,
Gonna tell ev’ryone i know, oo-oo-oo
In the heart of the country.
So, Sister, forget yourself a few times and see where it gets you:
Up the creek, alone with your talent, sans everything else.
You can wait for the menopause, and catch up on your reading.
So primp, preen, prink, pluck, and prize your flesh,
All posturings! All ravishment! All sensibility!
Meanwhile, have you used your mind today?
What pomegranate raised you from the dead,
Springing, full-grown, from your own head, Athena?