Biography, a poem by MJ Golias

“Water is always doused with lemon or vinegar 
for this woman. “

After Elizabeth Bishop’s Visits to St. Elizabeths 

She was the house of Bedlam. 

She was the woman. 

She was—past—She was 

the moment you realize there may be no God. 

Facial expressions are faulty. 

Roots grow in the throat 

of that damaged woman. Voices 

are not modest in one’s head,  

ears, rib cage 

that stifle shifting shutter edges 

of that wasted life woman. 

Odors are content 

on someone who doesn’t care. 

Consciousness is tricky business— 

loose chandeliers in unnamed churches. 

Whips of whispers of that generous woman. 

Fingernails are painted clear. 

Stalk oneself in daytime. 

Freight cars are missing 

long before being noticed. 

That neglected woman. 

Clothes and pictures are thrown out 

then forgotten; 

upside down the trash 

as proof as footpath. 

Dead fathers live at the wrong minute. 

Dead mothers are just dead. 

Water is always doused with lemon or vinegar 

for this woman. 

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