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Alicia Ostriker – Ⅱ






Among the goddesses one is my mother

now she dances in a hall of light


to the applause of many multitudes

healed at last of her asthma


breathing without the least difficulty

now she completes a Sunday crossword puzzle


and emits an enchanting perfume

my dad is drawn to her side, his brow springing with curls


they do a fox-trot, his smile is tranquil, his shirt starched

no more rage no poverty no shrieks—


from rows of gilded chairs the reverent

audience rises as the couple bows—


for when an August sun massages me

when I bathe in my sweat, when the rasp


of cicadas rises and lifts me like a swimmer

easily floating beyond where the surf breaks


my mind is a cervix

I can imagine anything