Today's poem is by Laura Kasischke


There may be hundreds of white birds that aren't called
doves. But
it's too late to wake my husband, and
I'm too tired to look it up. So

tonight, to me, they're all called
doves, doves, doves. And someone's

stitched my soul to one, or
so it seems to me because

tonight, I'm riding her white wing as she
carries the coded message of my mortality
with her across the Atlantic, the Pacific, the Gulf
of Mexico—completely free
of our two bodies, despite
the mastectomies, the
reconstructive surgeries...

Or, could she be, instead, that other dove? The one we've all

seen dusted, and deloused, and perched on a plastic branch
behind glass, permanently smudged

with children's fingerprints at the Natural History Museum?

They stare, those children, at her. And the men, they
stare as well, as they stroll
with their younger wives, their lovers, the lovers of their wives.

Her breast, no longer white. Her soul?

Oh, God—what if it's her soul that has been stitched to mine?

And if—?

Well, if it is—then this would be her white, and this
my wing—

And, if it is—well, if it is, how
quiet the humans' house must seem to her tonight, as I—

as we

move about it
turning off the lights. Tiptoeing. Holding our breath:

How quiet this place, this night. How full of spies.

Copyright © 2017 Laura Kasischke All rights reserved
from Where Now
Copper Canyon Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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