by Jesse Lee Kercheval

Rose Red

Just back from the laundromat, Mother, soul and socks both clean, I am feeling rather blessed, drinking wine from far Provence, sitting in my wicker chair on cushions bright as schools of feeding fish. For dinner I ate nothing but young food--scrambled eggs, small round potatoes, the kind they call red bliss. How long have I been waiting for this new life? Free, at last, from history, that hallucination, from the sandy pit of grief. I sink into the tufted cushions of my life and become again the child who watched you set the table every night for dinner until she was old enough to help. Beyond the kitchen window, a rose, red faced, dyes the clouds pink as skin, blushing throat to ankle. Behind the clouds, the universe, all bones and moving stars. I hear an owl and know it's you. I hear a mouse inside the walls and know it's you. I close my eyes. I see a bridge. I walk across it.

From Dog Angel (University of Pittsburgh Press).