Jul/Aug 2005 Poetry Special Feature


by Jennifer Finstrom


I stopped being a girl a long time ago. He first
whispered words of love to me when I was four,

a child in the splash of sunshine at my mother's
feet. I was six before I saw he was the sunshine,

eight before I knew he was a god. But the visions
came as soon as I could speak to tell of them,

pictures stabbing themselves like chopsticks,
daggers, the bloodied beaks of swans. The nerves

in my eyes burned pink and glaring as boiled
shrimp, and still I waited for him, hugging

my knees, nursing my mutant longing
for a man who wasn't a man. When I sleep,

the sun shoves the moon, forces her away over
night's hills. Nothing shines from her cold

temple, but in the darkest hour she whispers
to me of polar regions where the sun is dead,

where even his love can't find me.


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