Midlife stalled, I look for women.
Where are they, my mothers and sisters?
I listen for their voices in poems,
Help me. I’ve fallen asleep, fallen
With sleepers. These women have murdered
Themselves, violent, wrenched from home.
Grandmother was barren. She died.
Tubes in nose and green shanky arm,
Hair yellow, a dirty dye, patches
Like fungus on a stricken pine.
I read terrible stories —
Hate, rage, futilities of will —
And look for women, the small
Sufficient swans, showers of stars.