PREMATURE NO LONGER
I didn’t tell Carol that it was my first. Carol was my first—and I did not last. She would later sacrifice both breasts to appease the wolves of metastasis, which took her anyway. O perpetual Virgin Mary, please convey to Carol, in that part of Zion saved for women who died down here of love, of grief, of childbirth, of only being feminine, of living with psychotic gentlemen: no longer premature, I feel the sun set upon each day, and stars appear. Virgo might avert constellated eyes, but Lilith obtains full measure now. I ride a wave of Sirens, as I did not at seventeen—though when I name mermaids after Carol, they withdraw, and I must troll the briny deep again.
Seven-time Pushcart Prize nominee Russell Rowland writes from New Hampshire’s Lakes Region, where he has judged high-school Poetry Out Loud competitions. His latest poetry book, Wooden Nutmegs, is available from Encircle Publications.