THE PHOTOGRAPHS, THE FILMY WHITE GAUZY CURTAINS POEM by Lyn Lifshin


THE PHOTOGRAPHS, WHITE GAUZY CURTAINS Poem

THE PHOTOGRAPHS, THE FILMY WHITE GAUZY CURTAINS

 

I’m flung back to 92 Rapple,

sheer curtains to the floor.

Silk spread, snow smooth,

palest ivory, wall to wall.

Bridal, exotic. How many

years was it, wondering, a

virgin still, a husband who

brought me tea in bed but

not what I longed for. In

the photograph, gauze

camouflages, lures. Soft

drams, no angles. And even

before the first lover came,

bottle of wine, Chateau y

Kempe hidden in the

closet, probably stolen from

some friend’s house in

Carmel. Months of letters,

photographs of him, one

of Dylan Thomas so I had

no idea what to expect

Fantasy was one thing. But to

have him: ex con, alcoholic,

stagger across the country

with a torn suitcase and

broken shoes. I had no idea

where to keep him and met

him at a motel up the street,

terrified there was something

wrong with me, that that

was why I was still a virgin.

By evening, I checked the

mirror, disappointed I didn’t

see a change in my face.

Nothing about the motel

room stays in memory. Or

when he started living in the

trees, sneaking in the back

door when my husband pulled

out in the Healy. That room,

so pure, so like a bridal chamber,

tho still pristine, the only color

not white in the room beside

the tiger cat,  was his, my first

lover, and my body. After

love we’d read poetry all day.

Was it wine coolers or

scotch? He wanted drugs but

we had only nut meg. Like

silk draped over the railing

in the photo of this house,

my body fell over his. How

little I remember his smell,

how I felt with him inside me.

He was too big, he couldn’t

stay. He lit a match under my

window each night and I turned

the light on and off like a fire

fly signaling for a mate.

It was always a good story but

but it was getting so cold in

the woods he couldn’t stay.

The only place he can has been

for so many years

in poems


Comments