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The Other Women

by Johanna May

I love too much; I am a river
Surging with spring that seeks the sea,
I am too generous a giver,
Love will not stoop to drink of me.

-Sarah Teasdale

If you early on discerned
the steadfast lover you run to
in between the mindless task
called living:
where you marry, have babies,
wash plates, form calluses,
chatter with thoughts
of a woman unknown to you
yet you.
Giving fidelity instead
to the clandestine
that whispers words, words,
so that you
hide inside your room
giddy with fire
no mortal could slake,
but the pen’s tongue dip in and out
each letter unravels like coils
in a feverish wake
of content, nothing graspable
or solid could sate.
Sisters, we could only be mistresses
to the everyday,
we cannot be faithful to it,
we could only smile coyly at life
and its wants
return to the words
we should have vowed our
undying to
instead of just dying.


Author's Note: to: Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Sarah Teasdale and other women poets who commited suicide

Posted on 01/06/2013
Copyright © 2023 Johanna May

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