Sandra Kohler



Breaking damp, bleak, raw-edged:

this is the day, the only given. I dreamed

of a woman I admire, a man I admire less;

marrying them to each other, using their

distinctions against them. Each is less together

than apart. This is a way of talking about

pettiness: someone elseís married to my own.

All the long bones in my body are turning

ninety degrees, aligning themselves with

the horizon. The flat is dominates landscape.

Sleep comes over me again between the noun

and the verb, preposition and object. I am object,

abject, complex and compound, everything

a sentence can be. Let others talk of dominion;

my kingdomís a breast, a belly. A triangle

of bare skin above my breasts, between them,

grows cold. I cover it with my robe and hope

to outwit sorrow. In Italian hell and winter

are separated by a difference of one letter.

The cadences of my speech betray a similar

coupling. Iím tense, Iím anxious, Iím frightened.

Three states like half sisters, each daughter

of a different father, the same mother: my body.

The last breath of summer just expired under

the leaves, the first bird of winter says its name

and falls silent. This could go on forever.

Copyright © 2003 Sandra Kohler.  All Rights Reserved.

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