Nurse Lynn Speaks Her Thoughts to the Wind

It’s true, I killed my husband.
I had my reasons.
He was a hunter on the blood trail.
He smelled like meat and flowers
where my skin still stuck to him.
I thought, he is so strong, so strong that I am tethered,
a bear’s foot in a trap.
I became the bear. I reared.
I showed my disowned teeth.
Everyone, it turns out, has claws when the time is right.
I pushed him, with hands newly free, off the wind-singed cliff.
It wasn’t difficult.
He fell like heavy laundry.
What does it mean to be free
when the body loves only gravity?
I remember my mother’s bedroom
three white peonies in a white vase,
the low table with framed photos of the dead.
And how my mother floated like a lotus
on the surface of the past, tethered
to the muddy bottom of her nightmares.
What does it mean to be free
when time is an iron jaw
clenched on the bone of one moment?
I have tried to disguise myself
in gentleness and beauty
and to hide in kindness
as if it were my mother’s flowered veil of summer silk.
I prefer to stay silent
because every word I know
is a question about freedom, and every answer
a certain way of killing.
I would say to anyone, try not to love me.
I loved my mother, her hair, her brazen chin
the way she struck the match
and brought it to the candle.
If she had been alive
I could have returned home.

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