She Thinks of Him on Her Birthday

It’s still winter,
and still I don’t know you
anymore, and you don’t know

me. But this morning I stand
in the kitchen with the illusion,
peeling a clementine. Each piece

snaps like the nickname for a girl,
the tinny bite it was
to be one once. Again I count

your daughters and find myself in the middle,
the waist of the hourglass,
endlessly passed through and passed through

but holding nothing, dismayed
by the grubby February sun
I was born under and the cheap pleasure

it gives the window. Yet I raise the shade
for it, and try not to feel it is wrong
to want spring, to be a season

further from you—not wrong to wish
for a hard rain, a hard wind
like one we sat out in together
or came in from together.

– Deborah Garrison

I suppose it is true that you can determine the state of my heart by reading what I’m reading. I’ve been looking at the theme on here lately and I’m coming to the conclusion that I’m drawn to all these poems on loss, especially the death or divorce of great love and the brutality of beauty, because I’m weighing the risks of such commitment, a devotion I do not have. I fear my heart is in a place now where it’s going to hurt no matter which way I go, into the love or away. The strings have already been tied. The loss is inevitable.


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