Chronicles of a Forlorn Woman

1. The Language of a Rose

She pushes a threaded needle
through fabrics and daydreams
of the silk and fancy lace
she once afforded.

When sweat reaches her brow,
she wakes to find herself
in a shop sewing faster
than other seamstresses
because the work is not constant
like hunger, like thirst.

She sews to make ends that don’t meet
and pricks her finger every time
she threads a needle
hopelessly beneath a dark cloud.

This is not the same America
from her dreams, but
no hablo Inglés
doesn’t get you far.

With bandaged fingertips,
she arranges a wasting rose
in a vase near the window sill
crying out for earth, water, sun
in a language of her own.

2. Post-Divorce Metamorphosis

It’s easier to thread a camel
through the eye of a needle
than to forgive—
and my mother’s
metamorphosis begins,

a mother I don’t recognize
with eyes that look at me
not the way a mother
looks at a son,

but the way a woman
looks at the man
who consumed her—
thirsting for closure.

She masks her misery,
a hidden dark side
like the far side of the moon,

and I want the far side
to turn and come close enough
for me to touch its craters
and smooth its surface
though the earth may drown,

but we’re already drowning
in an earthen dam
damned for our sins
since Adam and Eve’s
dismissal from the earth
to which I’ll return,

ojalá, fulfilled
before she overflows
with madness—

this earth,

my mother,

tierra madre.

3. Thorns

In her garden,
she becomes a surgeon
and performs
a horticultural operation
cutting the stem back
to the first three leaf clusters
leaving at least two leaves
between the cut and the stem.

Overwrought with emotion,
she jerks the roses from the root
and crumbles the blossoms.

Her hands bleed,
but her pain is deeper
than the thorns in her palms
and bolder than fallen rose petals,
furled and withered.

4. My Father’s Eyes

I cover my eyes which
remind her of my father
to smooth the pain away
as we mend the missing years
the way she mends
her tattered garments.

Yet night racks her bones
and thins her blood
that’s thicker than time
and thicker than pain
that turns into hate
that turns into fear.

I sit like willow branches
in a still night
underneath a red moon
on a rocky shore
and wish for a spring tide.

5. A New Beginning

She brushes her hair
ninety-nine strokes with a trinket
she lost long ago,
and she finds the will to forgive
he who transgressed against her.

The ocean tide rises
to the top of Cerro Mogotón

where the ravine-guard sings
on a distant Sunday,
and we plant Mystery roses
recovering our lost time.

 

Onnyx Bei

About Onnyx Bei

Onnyx Bei received a BA in English from University of St. Thomas in Houston where he is currently pursuing an MA in Applied Linguistics. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Catch & Release, Glass Mountain, The Healing Muse, Off the Coast, Red Cedar Review, and others. Bei is a recipient of the Susan T. Scanlon Poetry Award and the Danny Lee Lawrence Poetry Award.
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