09 November, 2009


She has let herself go:
the stringy gray-green mop,
stubble sprouting from her curlicue tail,
soil stains on a faded red leotard
bulging with crisp, white flesh.

Smoldering root, once
she drew fire from the soil,
hope, sulphur, and sex.
Plucked into air, now
she trembles in hand,
a scalded heart
still pulsing.

First published in North American Review (March/April 2007).

~~  Robert Peake