First Woman: II. Euphoric Recall Katja

Runaway train

Still I remember how I took to the life,
still unapproachable. How I came close, for time
after time. Had luck. And then gave up. The dry
smile on my lips. Was stuck.
                    Surgeons, that sign
a procedure report like a check, had shown me then
how to walk out of a proverbial room,
crowded with people . . . those who wished me still
something. The past. What I deserved. The circle
wide as a boxer’s arm.
                    Who wished me ill
words or harsh looks I did not want to know.
You were as quiet as I could expect,
watching me go as if from a distance still.

one woman against the past
believe me, I’m powerless. Did you think
I’d lie? I can tell you, now
that no one will hear me, hell, I’ve not
always been decent. The things I’ve done!
First, there was doing them, then there was
supposedly being ashamed, but really
proud, that I could keep those secrets like
a kid whose footprints lead
backwards, to the parental bedroom. Then
well, there was really
being ashamed, and then
silence. Just that. To stop
the train on the tracks with a finger
on my lips
to hold the line
softly as a lover’s hips.

names of the victims held until families can be notified
I was trying to affirm
my unique identity
by using one of the common
denominators of man.

Before stage I obviously stage 0
that which we all find ourselves in, the cancer
almost a relief, from nothing-
ness to oneness.

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February 2002 2River