When did the top buttons of my blouse become undone?
When did the rain come almost to my rescue, washing
the pebbles away from under my head? Don’t tell me you
don’t know what we came here for, he said. The downpour
drenched me to the skin. What should I have answered?
Later, I washed my hair in his mother’s sink
while he rummaged in the kitchen, asking Isn’t there anything
good to eat? over and over again. I haven’t thought
of these things in years— Mottled mark banding my
forearm, the place where a fist met the wall.
And that sweater, marled yarn the green
of olives, that I pulled over my head and taut
over my swollen belly when I went out searching
in the moonlight. I walked until I arrived, unannounced,
at a house where friends were just sitting down to dinner.
They took me in, asked no questions, set a bowl
in front of me, a glass of water. No, it wasn’t that I
barely felt a thing: in fact, everything hurt too much,
was too bright, too dark, too fast, too thick, too—
The years to come were a tempering. That must have been
what the moon was trying to say, moving ahead of my
faltering steps: its face of beaten metal, uneven;
its surface pitted yet flooded with light.
In response to Via Negativa: The Prophet Jeremiah.