[I owe the inspiration for this to Sharon Olds. At the end of a poetry workshop, she challenged us to write something difficult, and this resulted. It won Honorable Mention in the 2008 Prime Time Cape Cod poetry contest, one of my first poems to be published.]

My Love

My love’s long scar runs down her belly.
I like to trace it with my finger.
Don’t do that, she says. It’s ugly.
No, I say.
I love this souvenir of your rescue.

My love weeps silently
for lost molecules of memory
stolen by disease and poison.
I love her tears
because they come from her eyes.

My love is tall and wise and fair.
She has long legs and long black hair.

At first it grew back curly.

When my string breaks and I float away
she grabs the end and holds me tight
and gives me back my weight.
She is my gravity.

She does not know she is the sun.
She melts the ice that grips my heart.
She thaws my bones.

Leslie Gerber 6/08

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