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Donna Vorreyer "Two Poems"

Ebb Tide

The first blood-rush of breath, and it’s

morning again. The insistent and terrible

light throws patterns on the bed. Love,

it’s time to wake, leave this comfort and

re-enter the world. One more touch and I’m

up, stepping over dog toys, walking

with the hitch and stutter of age, with

the familiar tingle of nerves that spiders

its way down my arm, into my hand. It’s

a feeling as consistent as the sunrise. A

pill makes it better. A hot shower. Terrible

news blares from the radio, all I love

both at hand and at risk. I know that

you are stirring now upstairs. That I’m

safe and I am oh so lucky, walking

out the door each morning wrapped in

the armor of our certainty. The sky? It

darkens, fickle and remote. It takes

itself so seriously. And here we are, an

anomaly, unchanging as the wide ocean,

which is to say moving all the time but not

apart. Never apart. I will never need to

fear our waves. I know just how they break.


Naked in the mirror, I try

to arrange myself in ways

that do not invite

shame. I do this often,

both vain and in vain.

The masters painted ladies

with this shape– plump

stomachs and thighs,

soft arms and breasts–

faces relaxed, ready to

wade into a river or greet

an angel. But delight

in abundance has faded,

and the glass brings only

the pain of reflecting or

distortion of breaking.

Some days, I sustain

myself with little, desperate

to be less. But you make

a bed of my name, desire

always my thick intimacy,

never ask me to scale

back my hunger,

bless it instead

with your own.


Donna Vorreyer is the author of Every Love Story is an Apocalypse Story (Sundress Publications, 2016) and A House of Many Windows (Sundress, 2013) as well as eight chapbooks, most recently The Girl (Porkbelly Press, 2018). Her poems and reviews have appeared in Poet Lore, Waxwing, Rhino, Harpur Palate and others, and her third full-length collection will be released by Sundress in 2020.

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