Apr/May 2008 Poetry

Two Poems

by Stephanie Anderson

Sleeping with Anna

...since I can't have love, and I have no peace, allow me a bitter glory... --Anna Akhmatova

With dark hair she falls empty
on the pillow beside me. She
bares the thin of her body:
tonight, Anna is my mistress.

I turn to her, a woman
better than beautiful—
I turn to the turning of her leaves.
and from me, she will never leave.

I cut a lock of gray from my hair,
and turn the lock of my door
to shut the noise of footsteps
and men from my home.

Tonight, I am not sad.
Tonight, the quiet stirs my soul.

Love became a charming lie
stuck in some man's throat; I waited for its clear.
And I wait still. But tomorrow—
I will wait no longer.
I will fit my arms slowly
into another man's coat.

Still, for tonight, I am Anna's alone.



You lay your quick horses in my lap;
I think of how I would rather sleep,
but I say nothing aloud:

I don't believe in being pretty anymore,
or know why I watch you read in bed.
We are simple:

There is nothing between us,
we are merely skin—
little-trained of more.

I shift my head,
see the compliments of the lamp's shine
strong against the light and dark of your face—

I want to lay against your back,
and urge your horses to gallop.
Instead, I give you my back.

We close our books and eyes—
I want to be beautiful,
but I say nothing aloud.


Previous Piece Next Piece