by Edward Hopper
Why didn’t he paint a scene sun-kindled
and warm as the title, not this room
where I sit, posed like a conundrum, my
body forced into incongruent angles
of shame and desire: the awkward cant
of my back as it stretches from the floor
to the bed, my face forced downward,
hidden by a cap of pelt-black hair I tie
each day in a tight-fisted knot on top of
my head? My blouse a palette of icy
milk and mauve shadow, shown against
a pulled-off sheet that’s somehow
glaciated down to the floor, where I pose
as if divided into hemispheres: one
where the neck of my blouse casts a shady
vee inside the cleft of my breasts; the
other where a dark delta meets the bare
landscape of my thighs. Though I ache
in all the places where this posturing pulls
my body awry, I know it’s a gesture of love.
My skin glowing with the same ghostly light,
as all his inconsolable houses.
Winner of the 2013 Sow’s Ear Prize and the 2015 Arts & Letters Award judged by Stephen Dunn, her poems have appeared in The Cincinnati Review, Hayden’s Ferry, Alaska Quarterly Review, Shenandoah and American Life in Poetry. She is the author of three chapbooks and two full-length collections, The Zen Piano Mover, winner of the Steven’s Manuscript Prize and In the Body of Our Lives, published by Sixteen Rivers Press. She is on the editorial board of California Quarterly.
Poems appeared in the following publication:
"Summer Interior” first published in In the Body of Our Lives, Sixteen Rivers Press, 2011.