Wednesday 22 July 2015

The Other Woman


So many perfect lines in this one. I love the power of that last one: truth, fantastically stated. 

Circe - Linda Pastan

I will always be the other woman.
I disappear
for a time
like the moon in daylight,
then rise at night all mother-of-pearl
so that a man’s upturned face,
will have reflected on it
the milk of longing.

And though he may leave, memory
will perfect me.
One day the light
may fall in a certain way
on Penelope’s hair,
and he will pause wildly…
but when she turns,
it will only be his wife, to whom
white sheets simply mean laundry—

even Nausikaä
in her silly braids
thought more washing linen
than of him,
preferring Odysseus
clean and oiled
to that briny,
unkempt lion
I would choose.

Let Dido and her kind
leap from cliffs
for love.
My men will moan and dream of me
for years…
desire and need become the same animal
in the silken

To be the other woman
is to be a season
that is always about to end,
when the air is flowered
with jasmine and peach,
and the weather day after day
is flawless,
and the forecast
is hurricane.

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