Candace Black


The woman
whose face is the color of clotted blood.
Whose blood collects in the flaccid
chambers of her heart.  Whose heart receives

the incoming signal but can’t respond,
whose heart can’t follow the orders
encoded in its tissues.  The woman whose mouth
makes small circles of appeal

no one hears.  Whose mouth tries to inhale
summer’s sweetness:  wet dock, pine, lake breeze,
rose hips.  The woman who rolls on the lawn, trying
to escape pain.  The woman whose eyes

see a toddler stop at the lawn’s edge, see
his mother scoop him up and walk away.
The woman whose eyes see the grass blades,
see nothing.


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