Winter 2005-6

Michelle Moore


I wanted this day to be holy-
the sky untroubled by clouds, the sun restrained
in spite of its heat. Only this morning, three days
with a head cold, I breathed

the sweet stink of diesel
on the street ending at this beach, a drink in one hand,
a book of poems in the other, and yea, I thought to myself,
life is good, and I felt clean

as only a woman alone
and unknown can be. Then dark birds lifted
out of the palms like words going back on themselves,
and I knew I was caught again

between two skies, the halves of me
clashing like jealous lovers. Now this stranger says
I remind him of a woman in his past, and I can't be sure
I haven't been that woman.

Oh world, I stand before you,
toes knuckling this white sand where the bathers tan
and children build their dream homes-
let the weight of my remorse

set the ocean's eye to overflowing,
or at least permit me this brief amnesia where
my mind rides out like an empty net on a tug of waves
and returns the way it left, just as empty.

Michelle Moore teaches writing courses at the University of Akron and belongs to biweekly poetry group whose members include Elton Glaser and Lynn Powell. Her poems have appeared in Commonweal, Rattle, Black Dirt, Apalachee Review, and elsewhere; she's also published a chapbook of Italian translations entitled Longing for Lightness (Poetry Miscellaney Press, 2002) and a chapbook of poems entitled The Deepest Blue (forthcoming, 2005, Rager Media Publishing).



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