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Shiva
by Halsted

I do Shiva for my daughter
today
I sit in a dim room
tear my clothes
scream
silently
so as not to bother the Irish neighbors
who do wakes.
I sit Shiva
Burn my wrists with cigarettes
burn the soft part of my belly
where her feet kicked

the butterfly flitted
when life was within me
when the possible was possible
when the screams and the needle didn't wake me
sitting on the shore in a green deck chair
crossword puzzles on my obtunded tummy
the marshmallows on the dunes were pink
not sepia
time was a track within track
within a track
so I wore no watch
Melanoma was a theory
sun was a theorem
I was as lively as the cornflowers in the dust by the side of the road
we took horse riding

I do Shiva
alone
I tear out my dyed red fringe
my red on gray
my beautiful fingernails I break and
burn
tears in my eyes dry before they fall
legs in the lotus position
back arched
arms in the air
mouth open
but not for food
I sit Shiva
and if there is help
I know none of it.
© Copyright 1997, Halsted. All Rights Reserved.




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Document last modified on: 12/31/2000

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