3.Avatar Review
     A Review of Poetry, Prose, and Art - Summer 2001

Cremating Ishtar

Poems by Erin Elizabeth

I am perched in obscure angles on the cliff
of mattress, counting my fingers, trying to make
the room loud. She is sitting, patiently,
on the other life of this bed, telling me that I don't
know New York at sunset, all the hustle
of breath, calmed, suddenly. How I could never
lower my voice enough or broaden my hands,
my face. And that, to her, I would always be a girl
poet, climbing cautiously onto dim stages,
reading of Ishtar, doubled over in the sky,
cramped with menstruation.
Some days I have the world trapped
between my thumb and forefinger,
but she is across the room, tying her shoe,
telling me if we don't leave now, we'll be late,
and the Sunday of it all fogs as a follow her,
without hands, out the door.

previously published in 2River View

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