That summer there was no girl left in me.
by Deborah Landau
It gradually became clear.
It suddenly became.
In the pool, I was more heavy than light.
Pockmarked and flabby in a floppy hat.
What will my body be
when parked all night in the earth?
Midsummer. Breathe in. Breathe out.
I am not on the oxygen tank.
Twice a week we have sex.
The lithe girls poolside I see them
at their weddings I see them with babies their hips
thickening I see them middle-aged.
I can't see past the point where I am.
Like you, I'm just passing through.
I want to hold on awhile.
Don't want to naught
or forsake, don't want
to be laid gently or racked raw.
If I retinol. If I marathon.
If I Vitamin C. If I crimson
my lips and streakish my hair.
If I wax. Exfoliate. Copulate
beside the fish-slicked sea.
Fill me I'm cold. Fill me I'm halfway gone.
Would you crush me in the stairwell?
Could we just lie down?
If the brakes don't work.
If the pesticides won't wash off.
If the seventh floor pushes a brick
out the window and it lands on my head.
If a tremor, menopause. Cancer. ALS.
These are the ABCs of my fear.
The doctor says
I don't have a pill for that, dear.
Well, what would be a cure-all, ladies,
gin-and-tonics on a summer night?
See you in the immortalities! O blurred.
O tumble-rush of days we cannot catch.