April 3rd poem

Monday, April 03, 2017

Elegy at 45

A friend’s message says she’s too angry to be
Buddhist today.  There is loss and there is loss
and there is loss and there is loss. I read my
horoscope.  Life is not a puzzle to be solved,
it says.  It’s hard to break a lifetime habit of seeing
one’s life as the plot of a novel.  Didn’t Aristotle
say something about plot?  But then, he saw women
as flower pots.  When my son was born, my mother
said, “Now you’ll never be alone again.”  My look
of panic then.  Elegy for loneliness.  Elegy for
an earlier self-image.   Elegy for my sex drive
and the different shape my vagina used to have. 
There is some normal degree of relaxation. 
The new gyn says that. If you think I’m making
a joke of my body, that’s on you.  (She’s spiraling,
you might say.)  Elegy for my lost spinsterhood,
elegy for city life, elegy for the polluted earth
of my childhood, elegy for the atmosphere, elegy
for when I saw the university as a haven, elegy
for my youthful arrogance, elegy for
my impatience with men noticing my youthful
“blooming,” elegy for being a poor kid a white girl
a reader a professor.  I taught the Modern Tradition
once. The male professor who hired me (lovely man)
asked me about my look of anguish, told me
to “project it outward.”  Listen, if I start projecting 
it outward now I will never stop watch out.


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