Today's poem is by Melissa Stein


A swirl of it: a stain, like cinnamon:
that's how it was, at the base
of her skull, radiating like a halo.
I watched, for a long time, her outline,
her shadow, her second self
sink into sand. They say the soul
lifts from the body; that it takes wing
from sullied matter, a perfumed storm,
petals and light. I saw a slackening,
a gradual collapse to paleness tinged
in yellow, in slate. A lowering, not a lifting
as the earth that once held her up
loosened to take her in. A sigh.
Then a quiet that was more than quiet,
a listening that itself became like noise.

Copyright © 2010 Melissa Stein All rights reserved
from Rough Honey
The American Poetry Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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