That woman, she's in pain in her floppy
headscarf, she's carrying it for us all.
That woman I will know before my birth,
always staring at me through a bloody beak,
always waiting for a wordless answer
to come in words.
That poor mail-carrier. That output of harmless
weapons upon the world. Her perfect inability
to understand a single newspaper headline.
When younger she wore leather dresses,
swore constantly at the money-changers,
she wore a hemline far above her hemline
whenever she was young. Always
at the end of the night eyes
muffled in a hot washcloth, never
to stare again above the sink.
She changed form as an old butterfly;
she turned herself
into a far white solar system,
into a swallowed sextoy,
into a green wasp,
into an array
of imagined hells, into the sound
of ten thousand ants clamoring
in a yellow apple, and the saints uncaptured,
far behind the stainglass,
jellyfished on bare rock, using their suicide methods.
Oh, Juna, February will see
insaner you, left conversationless at last
for me, perched around the corner
from my bitter wine and bitterest coffee.