Monday, August 6, 2012


photo: ralph murre

by Marjorie Stamm Rosenfeld
The Awakening

your aunt has come.
This is a visit.

We talk of this and that and you.
We sip coffee and are reflective,
looking out this window mirroring
other windows, porches, the packing crates of the newly arrived,
the corrugated metal roofs of carports, and beyond.
This is the second story.
It is possible to take the broad view,
although we are somewhat enclosed.

"He will always love you," she is saying.
(You said that too.)
I am circumspect, thinking of enclosure--
of trees, close-branched and silver; your arms; a forest; and frenzy.
Your aunt is assiduous, saying, " . . . love you."
I hold my mug tightly, the coffee burning hot.
Sweat moustaches my lip.
Dew frosts the forest—light grays its sunken, still lake.

It is morning now, and you wake
blurred, newly born, and damply regard your dawn.
In one corner of your eye (the eye nearest the window)
is a single drop reflecting you, me, your aunt, walls, wife, light, blind--
The trees outside your window stagger, reel, then stand again;
on your pillow you turn to your bride.
You lie . . . reach . . .
Morning.  The forest is littered with light.
I am in my own house, the door barred against tangible intruders.
I hold up in my palm a peach the color of dawn
and bite it.  Its juice is sweet.
Every tooth is alive.  My mouth aches.  My tongue is torn out.
You lie . . .
I think you are someone I made up in a moment between sleep and waking.
It is morning.  I don't believe you anymore.

~ Previously published in Travois:  An Anthology of Texas Poetry (Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston)