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Dancing with the Doctor

If I,—

when you are


and the landlady downstairs

her ashy dog

are sleeping

and the train that brought me home

is a wolf-black breath

breathing back

into coarse marshlands

along the coast,—

if I in our dining room


dance, wheezily

singing so not even

our infestation of moths

can hear: I will never be daughter

of the maple tree! I will never be

sister of the leaf!

If I admire

my hairless shins

and the purple gloss

of my polished fingernails running

over them in the light

cast by the street’s mechanical

moon,—who shall say I am not

the woman

who says with her mouth

at your neck:

Love, when I told you

my wilderness was almost

wild, it meant

I hadn’t loved a man

like a man yet.

from O’NightsFind more by Cecily Parks at the library

Copyright © 2015 Cecily Parks
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Alice James Books.

Published in Cecily Parks Poems

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.