Interdependence, Tim Timmerman
(monotype, 10″ x 23 ½“)
I would have made a bad mother, you said. Shuttered
milk eyes, the way I search for white deer
where there are none. I saw one once, a freak
of nature, a ghost or a symbol of some other god,
one I was sure to be jealous of. You said so many things,
I could not love. We had two wash basins side by side,
“renew thyself”, you said. And the thought of cleansing
my body so close to yours, within minutes of that pass;
all I could think was the sponging off, the tinkling of water
against skin like wind chimes, never to be put into a breath
or a thought. The roof, at this time, housed a family of doves
and they taunted me, cooing and brooding overhead, scratching
and clawing on the roof. What did they want, I wondered?
If they wanted peace; I wanted them to be different
like the white deer. I wanted them to raise their family
and shove off, leave us to our business. I think I wanted
to be an inky bat, waiting to creep the bedcovers, waiting
to steal your breath. Poised as I was to write it all down, leave
my own bloody mark. I wanted to suckle your blood, snatch flies
from the air. All women want to eat their babies, I told you.
You will say I have imagined this when our affection
is pure. I think that my journal is not free enough to talk.
Maybe the sponge and water know the truth of it.
When I put my nose to the crumbs of skin, when I bring
the fountain of you out to the garden, the worms,
the ready earth, are thirsty for what we have.__________Laurie Byro