The Fact of a Doorframe – Adrienne Rich

factofadoorframe

‘Rich’s writing has always lifted her naturally toward a unifying transcendental vision, a dream, but a dream simultaneously wrenched and weighted by its moral embodiment, called by her at different stages: love, truth, integrity, commonality, silence. She is a true metaphysical poet…(At times) her dialectical fire produces poems of transcendent beauty.’-Carol Muske, New York Times Book Review

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 EXCERPT

A Woman Dead in Her Forties

1.
Your breasts/ sliced-off The scars
dimmed as they would have to be
years later
All the women I grew up with are sitting
half-naked on rocks in sun
we look at each other and
are not ashamed
and you too have taken off your blouse
but this was not what you wanted:
to show your scarred, deleted torso
I barely glance at you
as if my look could scald you
though I’m the one who loved you
I want to touch my fingers
to where your breasts had been
but we never did such things
You hadn’t thought everyone
would look so perfect
unmutilated
you pull on
your blouse again: stern statement:

There are things I will not share
with everyone

 

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