debbie millman

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Poetry Tuesday: The Best New Poem I Have Read This Year

by C.K. Williams

That girl I didn't love, then because she was going to leave me, loved,
that girl, that Sunday when I stopped by and she was in bed in her nightgown,
(it only came to me later that somebody else had just then been with her),

that girl, when my hand touched her stomach, under her nightgown,
began turning her stomach to wood—I hadn't known this could be done,
that girls, that humans, could do this—then, when her stomach was wood,

she began turning the rest of herself to perhaps something harder, steel,
or harder; perhaps she was turning herself, her entire, once so soft self,
to some unknown mineral substance found only on very far planets,

planets with chemical storms and vast, cold ammonia oceans of ice,
and I just had to pretend—I wasn't taking this lightly, I wasn't a kid—
that I wasn't one of those odd, potato-shaped moons with precarious orbits,

then, it was Sunday, though I don't recall bells—I was out, in the street,
and where is she now, dear figment, dear fragment, where are you now,
in your nightgown, in your bed, steel and wood? Dear steel, dear wood.


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